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5)&53"7&-5*.&4t 28 FEBRUARY - 02 MARCH 2014

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Natural Beauty

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Tasmania – Gourmet in the Wilderness discovertasmania.com

• 1 Gourmet Sauce gift pack* OR 1 can of 250g Leatherwood honey* • National Holiday Park Pass (Min of 5 nights stay & per car basis) • A$50 petrol voucher* (Min of 5 nights stay at Innkeepers Hotel / Apartment, valid for stay 1May-24Dec14)

Book your Tasmanian holiday and enjoy the following

Any Tasmania full or land package bonus • A$20 Fish Frenzy Seafood voucher* * Per room / apartment basis, limited period and while stocks last Travel Fair bonus is valid for 1st 50 bookings booked by 2 Mar only and based on first come first serve basis. Conditions apply

To enjoy the Travel Fair bonus, please contact any of the following preferred agents (Note: Different agent will offer different Tasmania packages, from group, free-independent city packages to self-drive) Chan Brothers Travel(TA109) 6212 9684 Farmosa Holiday (TA426) 6534 1133 UOB Travel (TA185) 6252 6822

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Beyond

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IN THIS ISSUE

Venture north of Queensland’s capital and catch your breath in the great outdoors

TRAVEL BACK IN TIME IN TURKEY

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3 rTHE TRAVEL TIMES r'&#36"3:."3$)

Message from Ms Cecilia Woo Publisher, The Travel Times Singaporeans are known to be among the most travelled people in the world and the sheer assortment of destinations featured in this Natas Fair does a good job of reecting it. With the next long weekend coming up in April, nearby getaways represent the best opportunity for a brief respite from reality. If you are planning for a big one with the kids in June, there are plenty of great ideas and deals in these halls too. As always, we aim to facilitate your time at the fair by highlighting some of our favourite destinations and some fantastic deals brought to you by our travel partners. Right in the middle of this issue, you will also ďŹ nd a map of the halls and the locations of some key establishments. Wherever you choose to go, we wish you safe travels and amazing memories!

Cecilia Woo Publisher


4 • THE TRAVEL TIMES • 28 FEBRUARY - 02 MARCH 2014

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5 • THE TRAVEL TIMES • 28 FEBRUARY - 02 MARCH 2014

“Take a brrea ak and enjoy an urba an life esty yle at Centu ury Park Hotel Jaka arta”

NET / NIGHT Booking period: February 28th- April 30th, 2014 Travel period: May 1st - September 30th, 2014

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Booking Code: NATAS


6 • THE TRAVEL TIMES • 28 FEBRUARY - 02 MARCH 2014

Available @ The Travel Store Bedok Mall | Jurong Point | nex | Plaza Singapura | Suntec City Tower 5 | The Star Vista, Eminent Funan DigitaLife Mall. Also available @ TANGS Vivocity | Robinsons Raffles City | OG Albert | OG Orchard Point | OG People’s Park | BHG Bugis | BHG Tampines | Metro Woodlands

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7 • THE TRAVEL TIMES • 28 FEBRUARY - 02 MARCH 2014


8 rTHE TRAVEL TIMES r'&#36"3:."3$)

Out of the Blue From bushland to beach, from lake to spa, we delve into the magic of Tasmania’s splendiferous landscapes and its many surprises.

Freycinet National Park

must be in a painting,â€? I thought to myself. As I alighted from my Melbourne to Launceston ight and stepped onto the tarmac, I looked up at the bright blue Tasmanian sky and swore; it looked like someone had ampliďŹ ed the contrast, saturation and sharpness with deft brushstrokes to present the landscape in full dramatic glory. Tasmania may not be part of mainland Australia, but this little sister has a lot to offer – and the vastness of it all is quite awe-inspiring. The beauty of its natural landscape is so sublime yet so intense that it literally hit me out of the blue like a bolting Tasmanian Devil.

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food, of which ample servings were doled out by Tim as he kept the grill full with chicken, pork and bacon, lathered with his best-selling Cumberland Sauce, a savoury sauce with notes of red currant, port wine, lemon, orange and spices. It was the perfect setting to enjoy the sunshine and great conversation. After lunch, we went to a lookout point at Freycinet National Park (Coles Bay Rd, Coles Bay; +61 3 6256 7000). The panoramic view was spectacular. We could see Cape Forester, Mt Graham, Mt Freycinet, Wineglass Bay, Sleepy Bay and The Hazards (Mt Mayson, Mt Amos, Mt Dove, Mt Baudin and Mt Parsons). One of the

highlights not to be missed here is the Wineglass Bay. On a good day with great weather, the view is postcardpicture-perfect. Must-do activities include a gorgeous cruise and a leisurely picnic to take in the beauty of the bay, or if time permits and you are physically inclined, take a walk up to Wineglass Bay lookout, which takes under two hours, or indulge in longer half day or overnight circuits. Final stop for the day: SafďŹ re Freycinet (2352 Coles Bay Rd, Coles Bay; tel: +61 3 6256 7888), an awardwinning luxury boutique hotel that has added buzz to Tasmania’s hospitality scene. This iconic hotel overlooks

NATURE’S BEST The folks at Gourmet Sauce Company (174 Leighlands Rd, Evandale; tel: +61 3 6391 8437), Julie and Tim Barbour, are pretty serious about their sauces, relishes, chutney, mustards and even jams. What makes them special is their personal touch. Arriving at their shop, tasting centre, cooking studio and garden, I felt like I was being welcomed into their home. There was Tim, standing over the barbecue pit in the backyard with thongs in his hand and a ready smile as he gestured for us to enter. The savory aroma of chicken wings was in the air. On the table behind him was a big bowl of vibrant greens, plucked fresh from his beautiful potager (a traditional kitchen garden). We sat in the garden and enjoyed the simple but hearty

Tasmania Gourmet Sauce company

Wineglass Bay


9 rTHE TRAVEL TIMES r'&#36"3:."3$)

Great Oyster Bay and The Hazards, and was designed to make every waking moment within the hotel a vivid extension of the great outdoor experience. The view is the star; from the lobby and the lounge to the restaurant Palate at the end, the curving glass facade running parallel to the length of the interior affords uninterrupted viewing. Likewise for its suites, which also run parallel to the bay; the wildness of the Australian bushland is right in front of the suite’s glass wall while the wildness of the mountains beckons in the horizon. With a glass of Tasmanian Moorilla Cabernet Merlot in hand and the exquisite bejewelled night view before me, I settled into my Signature Suite’s plush sofa and pondered the nightscape. The next morning at Freycinet Marine Farm (1784 Coles Bay Road, Coles Bay; tel: +61 3 6257 0140), I put on rubber overalls with attached boots and waded out to the estuary where my guide picked out fresh oysters for me. There, out in the open and waist deep in the water, he laid out a white tablecloth with a ourish and set the wooden “tableâ€? that was perched on stilts. He poured out a glass of champagne and shucked the oysters. They were fresh, briny and clean with the taste of pure Tasmanian waters. There was no better way to enjoy oysters than with The Hazards before me and the wind in my face. The SafďŹ re Freycinet experience is incomplete without a session at Spa SafďŹ re, which unfortunately

SafďŹ re Freycinet

A luxury suite at SafďŹ re Freycinet

Freycinet Marine Farm

that ranges from enchanting short walks to challenging overnight walks; the ďŹ t and aspirational may want to try the world-famous six-day 65km Overland Track that takes you through the heart of the national park . We were to stay at Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge (4038 Cradle Mountain Road; +61 3 6492 2103), which has a range of luxurious yet rustic suites and cabins, including posh spa suites at Waldheim Alpine Spa. The spa has earned repute as one of Australia’s most spectacular wilderness spas; guests are able to indulge in luxury treatments while taking in the beauty of towering King Billy pines and Pencil Pine River running through the

Cradle Mountain

wilderness. We checked into our traditional Spa Suite, which was outďŹ tted with handmade Tasmanian wood furnishings that gave a rich, warm ambience, while soft goosedown duvets and a plush sofa in front of the log combustion ďŹ re awaited my indulgence come bedtime. Dusk had fallen by the time we reached the lodge and it was getting really chilly; the complimentary carafe of port in my suite was a welcome touch. Dinner at the lodge’s Highland Restaurant was a rustic affair with a big crackling ďŹ replace in the middle, while a tranquil view of the lake awaited diners who were prepared to linger and bask in the magical forest nightscape. A stay up on Cradle Mountain deserves leisurely exploration and contemplation as its mythical landscape warrants due attention. In the process, we walk away with a trimmer body – if you’ve been walking – and a ďŹ rmer conviction on the need to detox on all levels. This has been more than just a road trip. It has been spiritual – the landscape is intense, you just have to pay attention and listen to the drumbeats of life resonating from her. Visit us at booth no.3H01 or www.discovertasmania.com for more information

Travel Fair BONUS

View of The Hazards from SafďŹ re Freycinet

Book your Tasmanian holiday and enjoy the following Self-drive package bonus 1. 1 Gourmet Sauce gift pack* OR 1 can of 250g Leatherwood honey* 2. National Holiday Park Pass (Min of 5 nights stay & per car basis) 3. A$50 petrol voucher* (Min of 5 nights stay at Innkeepers Hotel / Apartment, valid for stay 1May24Dec14)

has an order book that is ďŹ lled back to back. One of its highlights is the Jewel Collection of deluxe facials, which harnesses the beneďŹ ts of priceless ingredients such as sapphire, gold and diamonds with advanced technology to leave the skin radiant. The bodyshaping DL Dioriti Volcanic Magma treatment and Natura Bisse’s anti-aging Diamond Collection with pure diamond dust are signature treatments as well, and have been popular choices with its guests.

Any Tasmania full or land package bonus A $20 Fish Frenzy Seafood voucher*

THE ASCENSION Rising 1,545m above sea levels, Cradle Mountains is a natural wonderland of diverse ora, with the feel of a wild landscape encompassing an ancient rainforest and alpine heathlands, buttongrass and colourful deciduous beech. Ensconced within are beautiful glacial lakes such as the serene Dove Lake and a variety of walking trails

The tranquil setting of Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge

*Per room / apartment basis, limited period and while stocks last Travel Fair bonus are valid for 1st 50 bookings booked by 2 Mar only and based on ďŹ rst come ďŹ rst serve basis. Conditions apply


10 • THE TRAVEL TIMES • 28 FEBRUARY - 02 MARCH 2014

Stay In Touch With Yourwifi Yourwifi’s WiFi routers provide internet access on-the-go while you are on vacation. USA

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ourwifi, a rental service provider of mobile WiFi routers, introduced its services called XCom Global to Singapore early this year. With connectivity a major part of modern life, travellers have been crying out for a solution to their lack of it while overseas for a long time. Recognising this demand, Yourwifi’s offerings will prove to be a huge boon for Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp users.

China

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Yourwifi’s products can be used in over 170 countries around the world. Encrypted by WPA2Security, they provide secure data transmission between the mobile WiFi router and your smart devices. The router also has a VPN passthrough for IPSec, ensuring safe transmission while using your VPN software. Using the router is easy. All you have to do is turn on the device and input the password. Yourwifi’s telco partner is usually the biggest in the region, and the one that has the best coverage and telecommunication quality. If you are travelling in a group, you will be glad to know that up to five devices can be connected to the router at any one time. Acquiring the router from Yourwifi is simple too. Place your order online and fill in your travel dates and destination. The WiFi router will then be delivered to your designated address. Alternatively, you can choose to pick it up at the company’s office at 20 Collyer Quay #23-01, Singapore 049319. After your trip, return the router by mail or drop it back to the office.

Statistics show that compared to Singtel’s data roaming charges, using Yourwifi’s router saves more money for you especially if sharing the device between friends and family members. For a trip to China for example, customers using Yourwifi’s router will enjoy savings of approximately 88 percent against using SingTel data roaming. Rental prices start from S$9 per day for a one country plan. An Asia plan will cost S$12, and plans for Europe, North America, and the World plan all cost S$25. Optional costs are insurance for S$2 per day, and a mobile battery for S$2 per day. A corporate plan for frequent business travellers is also available. This plan give a discount of up to 15 percent compared to the promotional prices that are on offer now and up to 46 percent off the original price. For more information, please call 6653 8362, visit www. xcomglobal.com.sg, info@yourwifi.mobi, or visit the booth at 3H76.


11 rTHE TRAVEL TIMES r'&#36"3:."3$)

Bonny Brunei With gems of ecological and cultural attractions sequined across the stately land, the Abode of Peace will awe even the well-travelled and settle within their hearts a sweet ease 110-car garage, an air-conditioned stable for the Sultan’s 200 polo ponies, and ďŹ ve deluxe swimming pools. Kampong Ayer The world’s largest water village has been around since the 16th century and consists of 42 smaller villages, homing approximately 10 percent of population. Hailed as the Venice of the East by Ferdinand Magellan, the ďŹ rst explorer to have circumnavigated the earth, the villages have schools, shops, eateries, and even hospitals and are linked together by a system of footbridges and water taxi services.

RELIEVING REST The Empire Hotel & Country Club Brunei’s most luxurious beach resort features a golďŹ ng championship course designed by Jack Nicklaus and was named Best Golf Resort in Asia PaciďŹ c by Asian Golf Monthly in both 2010 and 2011. The sporty can get their ďŹ x of tennis, squash, or bowling and the weary or indulgent can employ the services of masseurs at the deluxe spa. Those looking to unite in a fancy setting close to the beach can take advantage of the available wedding packages and keep their eyes peeled for special offers and promotions frequently offered on the hotel’s website.

Ulu Temburong National Park

ith a ourishing economy driven by the production of oil and gas, Brunei is a commercially powerful nation that is known for its safety and hospitality. English is widely understood and spoken despite Malay being the ofďŹ cial language of the Islamic state and the legal system constitutes both the English common law and the Sharia law. Albeit pint-sized, the beauteous country is uncrowded and homes many scenic luxuriant forests and culturally rich places of interest famed for delighting tourists.

W

ECHOING ECO Ulu Temburong National Park The nation’s ďŹ rst national park encircles an unspoiled jungle and, in being part of the Heart of Borneo international conservation agreement, is highly protected. The Green Jewel of Brunei enables visitors to encounter the lowland rainforests, ora, and fauna in all their natural glory, soak up a panoramic view of the park from a steel 50-metre high canopy walkway, and take a rewarding dip in the cool mountain waters of Sungai Temburong. Water rafting is available and the rapids are divided into two grades so that all ages can appropriately engage in the sport. Tasek Merimbun Heritage Park A wildlife sanctuary, a conservation site, a recreational centre, and a venue for research and education, the ASEAN Heritage Park encompasses Brunei’s largest lake, Tasek Merimbun. The waters are streamed into the S-shaped lake by two rivers and are known for their dark hue, a result of having wound through many a marshy region. Visitors can sail to two nearby islands and access via a wooden path an island rooted in the middle of the body of water to indulge in extensive exploration of the park. Basic picnic facilities are located at main areas for the convenience and comfort of guests. Pulau Selirong Abounding with mangrove trees that are reputedly larger than those rooted in neighbouring countries, the island that is 25 kilometres off Brunei Bay and that can only be reached by boat consists of a wide variety of ora and fauna. Wooden walkways and an observation tower provide visitors with the

Radisson Hotel Brunei Darussalam Situated in the heart of the capital city opportunity to have closer and higher and of walking distance to major tourist views of the surroundings and the sites like Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin lucky may even spot ying lemurs on Mosque, Kampong Ayer, and Royal a good day. Regalia Building, the 142-room hotel was recently restructured with sleeker CAPTURING CULTURE lines, deeper colors, and bolder Royal Regalia Building patterns. Golf, sports, and swimming Built in 1992 to commemorate the are available to those who want to work silver anniversary of His Majesty Trekking At Pulau Selirong up a sweat and a business lounge is of Brunei, the museum holds a open to those seeking to have work monolithic collection of articles done. Both adults and children can head to the nearby Tasek related to the Sultan and to his royal lifestyle. It documents Lama Recreational Park if they wish to be involved with more relics involved in the milestones of his life – including his sporting options. education, marriage, and coronation – and even has a lifesized replica of the Sultan’s 1992 silver jubilee on exhibit. A Rizqun International Brunei History Centre charting the genealogy and origins The 168-room hotel offers grand accommodation of the royal Bruneian family equips visitors with informed amidst traditional settings and is right in the business understanding of the country’s great rulers. Entrance to the hub and the shopping district of Gadong. Up for rental museum is free. are function rooms of various sizes, one in particular of which is the largest pillar-less one in Brunei and Istana Nurul Aman that can seat 1,000 guests for banquets and 1,500 for Otherwise known as the Palace of the Faith Light, the theatre seating. A day spa is available for those in need glitzy abode is the largest palace in the world and homes of some rejuvenating therapy and many choice facilities only one family. The illustrious landmark, built in 1984, and amenities are available to ensure that guests feel contains 1,788 rooms and can cater up to 5,000 guests in right at home. the banquet hall. The vast expanse of land also includes a

Empire Hotel Resort


12 rTHE TRAVEL TIMES r'&#36"3:."3$)

Modernity In Antiquity Immerse yourself in the unique blend of modernity and antiquity of Hunan Province in South-Central China

Juzi Island

pread across the province, Changsha, Zhangjiajie and Fenghuang County offer their own interpretations of the province’s long-held custom of providing entertainment for the people in the forms of food, scenery and culture. Enjoy the best of the natural, ancient and modern worlds and experience Hunan hospitality as you take a journey through time and space.

S

CHANGSHA The capital city of Hunan, Changsha played a major role in China’s history as a major commercial location within the country and as the recorded location of Mao Zedong’s conversion to communism. Over hundreds of years, its inhabitants developed a taste for cuisine focusing on the elements of fragrance and spiciness; a preference which later spread to the rest of the province.

Tianxin Pavilion

Juzi Island Developed into a scenic park, the island serves as a recreational destination for locals and also features several attractions including pavilions, sightseeing towers overlooking the city’s central business district, and a recently completed statue of a young Mao Zedong. Hailed as one of the few monuments depicting Mao in his younger days, the 32-metre tall statue was designed by Xie Liwen, a professor at the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts who chose to display a broad-shouldered Mao looking into the distance over the shore of Juzi Island, which he hopes will inspire Chinese youth to “look into the future, on the Chairman’s shouldersâ€?. Tianxin Pavilion Rebuilt a total of two times following devastation by ďŹ res in 1938 and 1983, the pavilion has been converted into a scenic area, with several structures largely commemorating wartime events especially with regards to the Japanese Occupation. The wall surrounding the pavilion was built during the early Ming period (1368-1644AD) and retains much of the original

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park


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brickwork, evidenced by the stamps present on some bricks – indicating their location and date of manufacture. In 1850, Buddha statues were melted down in order to create the two cannons – the larger one christened the “Red Robed Generalâ€? – embedded in the ancient wall as part of the city’s defence against the Taiping Army during the Taiping Rebellion. Embroidery With inuences from Chinese calligraphy and painting, modern Xiang embroidery is still painstakingly handcrafted where skilled artisans layer thread in a seemingly haphazard fashion, but generate elements of shade, reection and texture that are able to produce almost photo-realistic imagery when viewed from a moderate distance. Artworks are available for viewing at the Hunan Embroidery Museum, or for purchase from speciality stores around the city. Qindao Performance Art Center Changsha’s Qindao Performance Art Center is a cornerstone of the night entertainment that Hunan is known for. Opened in 2009, it is the largest indoor theatre in Southern China and seats up to 3,000 people with nightly cabaret performances featuring celebrities from across the country as well as some foreign acts. Each show at the centre is typically a two to three-hour long collection of entertainment performances.

ZHANGJIAJIE A veritable treasure trove of natural wonders, Zhangjiajie is located a 4.5-hour drive, or 50-minute domestic ight west of Changsha. Rich in ancient history and pre-history, archaeologists have recently determined through ancient artefacts that human settlement of the region began about 100,000 years ago. Zhangjiajie National Forest Park Undoubtedly the crown jewel of Hunan province, the iconic UNESCO World Heritage Site Zhangjiajie National Forest Park was China’s ďŹ rst national park and was recently thrust into the global spotlight as a result of director James Cameron’s use of one of its uniquely shaped peaks in the international blockbuster, Avatar – the one kilometre tall peak has since been renamed ‘Avatar Hallelujah Mountain’. Baofeng Lake A pristine freshwater lake in the midst of the Suoxiyu Natural Reserve, Baofeng lake is situated halfway up the Baofeng Mountain Range and was formed during the 1970s by locals who needed a reservoir to serve their water needs. Now a scenic spot, the lake offers visitors views of the surrounding mountains which resemble an assortment of creatures, such as the “Golden Toadâ€? or the “Peacockâ€?.

Baofeng Lake

Tianmen Mountain At 1,519 metres high, Tianmen Mountain is the tallest peak in the Wulingyuan area and is accessible via a 7,455-metre long cable car ride from the city’s Zhangjiajie Railway Station, followed by a bus journey on the range’s undulating roadway with 99 bends – the number being a symbolic remnant of the location’s strong Taoist past. The mountain is part of the larger Wuling Mountain Range and is drastically different in appearance from the protruding, eroded peaks at the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, with its key feature being a natural arch near its peak. Tianmen Fox Spirit At a scale that is characteristic of the country, the Tianmen Fox Spirit musical is performed by a massive cast of over 500 performers on a grand theatre cradled in the foothills of Tianmen Mountain. From the grandstand, audience members will be able to see most of the mountain range, which ends with the arch on the peak of Tianmen mountain – the entire mountain range is used as part of the set, lighting up during dramatic sequences of the musical by hundreds of spotlights located in strategic positions on the mountains.

FENGHUANG COUNTY Located in the southern area of Hunan, Fenghuang County possesses one of the most well-preserved ancient cities in the country. Home to a large population of Miao and

Nanhua At Night

Tujia minorities, the Fenghuang Ancient Town is located on both banks of the Tuojiang River, which still serves multiple important purposes for much of the local population, from washing clothes to generating income. Ancient Town Located near the boundary of Hunan province, the ancient town by day merges ancient architecture from the Ming and Qing dynasties with natural beauty, featuring enveloping mountain ranges and owing green-hued waters of the Tuojiang River running through it. Visiting the town in the early morning will yield the most picturesque views as ďŹ ne morning mists provide a veil of mystery and evokes memories of scenes akin to those depicted in traditional Chinese watercolour paintings. Visit at nightfall and be amazed by the extraordinary transformation the town undergoes and morphs into the heart of a sprawling nightlife and entertainment complex. Strategically placed lasers and neon signs will dazzle as each establishment competes with one another visually and aurally in an attempt to draw in patrons. Nanhua Mountain National Forest Park The ancient town is situated at the foot of Nanhua Mountain, a relatively low natural formation with its surface covered by an abundance of tall, ancient trees. The mountain’s National Forest Park is easily accessible by foot from the ancient town, and is a popular destination for the local populace on their morning workouts. Phoenix Cultural Scenic Spot After a further 99 steps – Jiujiu Heaven Steps – visitors will arrive at the peak of Nanhua Mountain and the Phoenix Cultural Scenic Spot, an area dedicated to the phoenixes of legend from whom the town derived its name. Retaining most of its ancient construction in the form of its pavilions, terraces and palaces, the more recent additions to the area were designed by Huang Yongyu, a renowned artist originally from the ancient town.

Fenghuang Ancient City

Visit us at booth no. 4H22 for more information.


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Unforgettable, That’s What You Are No matter which season it is, the natural wonders and historic sites of Toyama Prefecture & Nagano Perfecture make for a travel experience like no other THE GREAT GORGE EXPERIENCE Kurobe’s and Unazuki’s name spreads far and wide for its beautiful Kurobe Gorge, a forested ravine deep in the mountains of the Northern Japan Alps. Surrounded by high vertical cliffs and virgin forests, tourists can take in aweinspiring landscape while soaking in the outdoor hot springs. Unazuki Onsen, which overlooks the gorge, is reputed to have one of the purest hot springs in Japan. It is Toyama’s top onsen resort and features a variety of ryokans and hotels for families and couples. The best way to experience Kurobe’s fame is to hop onto the Kurobe Gorge Railway and be mesmerised by the scenery for about one and a half hours. With a choice of three types of train cars, tourists will journey through 41 tunnels and rumble on 22 bridges as it takes you through the emerald green Unazuki-ko lake, the 60m-high Atobiki-bashi bridge and the rocky mountain peaks of Dashiroppo.

HISTORIC VILLAGES OF GOKAYAMA

‘Gassho-zukuri’ style houses

TATEYAMA KUROBE ALPINE ROUTE Spanning about 90 km, the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route traverses an altitude of about 2,500m, and spreads before you the kaleidoscopic colours of nature in its varying seasons – from the red splash of autumn leaves juxtaposed against the dazzling white of new snow to the bright hues of pretty summer alpine owers. The international mountain sightseeing route connects Toyama Prefecture and Nagano Prefecture, and the journey is undertaken by a series of different modes of transport such as cable car, ropeway, highland bus or railway – all of which offer fantastic views. In April, the season when the Alpine Route is open, one can see the magniďŹ cent Snow Wall “Yuki no Ootaniâ€? (Great Valley of Snow), which can could reach a height of up to 20 metres. Anyone can take the approximately 500m “Yuki no

Snow Wall “Yuki no Ootani�

Otani Walk� from mid-April to mid- June. This is to enable visitors to get close and experience the scale of the great Snow Walls. Melted into the greatness of Mother Nature, the Kurobe Dam stands as the tallest dam in Japan. During mid-June to October, for every second, over 10 tonnes of water is released and blown out spectacularly. You also cannot miss the Mikurigaike Pond. Its still blue waters mirror Mount Tateyama and entices tourists with its quiet beauty. The route has basically two starting points: from Tateyama Station in Tateyama Town, Toyama and Ogizawa Station in Omachi City, Nagano. Tourists to Japan can easily incorporate a trip to Toyama if they are visiting nearby cities such as Toyko, Nagoya and Osaka via JR trains, with an approximate travelling time of about three hours.

Tonami Tulip Festival

The Gokayama area, including the Suganuma and Ainokura villages, along with Shirakawa-go in Gifu Prefecture, was designated as a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1995. The world famous Michelin Travel Guide awarded Gokayama its top three star rating, along with other prominent tourist destinations in Japan such as Mount Fuji and Kyoto. Since long ago, as one of the snowiest places in Japan, Gokayama has constructed ‘Gassho-zukuri’ style houses with their equilateral triangle-shaped roofs and steep slopes that make it easier for snow to slide off. Today, the ‘Gassho-zukuri’ style houses are carefully preserved with the oldest houses dating back about 400 Still Blue Water At Mikurigaike Pond


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Experience The Shogawa River Sightseeing Cruise

years and villagers living in these farmhouses maintain traditional ways of life, and some provide accommodation for tourists.

SPLENDOUR OF MOTHER NATURE Toyama features many other beautiful natural landscapes that change seasonally. In spring, visitors can enjoy tulips, cherry blossoms, and new green leaves. Tonami Tulip Fair is the largest tulip festival in Japan with 1 million tulips of 500 varieties, held from late April to early May. Matsukawa area in Toyama City is one of the top 100 Cherry Blossom Sites in Japan. Why not enjoy a cherry blossom cruise on the Matsukawa River? During the summer months, the wetlands in Tateyama MidagaharaDainichidaira are perfect for hiking. In recognition of their natural value, these wetlands were registered on the Ramsar List in July 2012. There is nothing like the autumn foliage in Toyama. Tateyama, Kurobe Gorge, and Gokayama all offer terriďŹ c views of the colourful panorama of nature. Visitors can enjoy many recreational activities such as skiing, rafting, snowshoeing, and take delight in the scenic views of snowcovered landscapes in Gokayama and Shogawa-kyo Valley.

DISCOVER TAKAOKA CITY Catch a glimpse of Takaoka Daibutsu – one of the three greatest statues of Buddha in Japan at Takaoka City. Spanning 16 metres tall and weighing 65 tonnes, the statue

Jigokudani Monkey Park

is the masterpiece of local Takaoka craftsmen, and also symbolically represents the dominant traditional copperware industry in Takaoka. Take in the peerless architecture that Japan has to offer by visiting Zuiryuji Temple. Constructed during the Edo period (1600-1868), this building features striking architectural details. Beach lovers will love the scenic beauty of Toyama at the Amaharashi Coast, which is located north of Takaoka City. Featuring pearl white beaches, backed by the majestic Tateyama mountain, visitors will be able to bask in the pristine ambience while admiring spectacular views of Onnaiwa Island.

HISTORY & NATURE IN NAGANO Located right in the centre of Japan and surrounded by majestic mountains that rise 3,000m above the ground, Nagano Prefecture is ďŹ ttingly known as the ‘Roof of Japan’. Because of its splendid geographical position, the air and water in Nagano is clean, clear and simply wonderful. Nagano is famed for having numerous world class ski resorts on its snowy slopes, and is also well-known for its onsens, many of which are open-air baths that boast magniďŹ cent views. The Jigokudani Monkey Park is one of Japan’s most unique attractions. The park is the habitat of a large population of Japanese Macaques or Snow Monkeys that descend from the forests and into the comforting embrace of the hot springs during winter. Every year, throngs of visitors ock

Spring In Liyama, Nagano

here to catch a glimpse of this rare animal, in particular their blissful humanlike expressions as they soak in the warmth of the onsen. The black and white Matsumoto Castle is one of the most beautiful and complete castles in Japan, and is designated a national treasure of the country. Built in the early 16th century, it has housed several feudal lords through its existence, making it one of the must-visit sites if you are interested in Japan’s history. The keep is extremely photogenic, especially during spring when the blossoming cherry blossom trees beside the castle contrast brilliantly with the castle and the alpine backdrop. The beautiful and remote mountain region of Kamikochi is one of the most scenic spots in all of Japan and is a popular place for enjoying nature at its ďŹ nest. The top activity here is hiking; most depart from the tourist centre and can be customised by ease and length. There are also several hiking lodges and tent sites should you be tempted to extend your stay here. Adventure junkies should deďŹ nitely not miss out on all the fun and thrill that Kamikochi has to offer.

Visit us at booth no. 3H74 for more information.


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I’m Going On An Adventure! Put on your backpacks, cast your worries aside, and embark on a spellbinding journey to New Zealand’s North Island. ew Zealand’s North Island is a land of staggering beauty. White-capped mountains, reective lakes, fresh air and a cool climate have provided the inspiration for nicknames such as ‘God’s own country’. However, its appeal goes beyond its natural artistry; its true allure lies in the accessibility and diversity. Where else can you ďŹ nd a cosmopolitan and dynamic city with half an hour of scenic, idyllic beaches, sprawling vineyards, majestic volcanoes, lush rainforests and enchanted holiday islands. Every which way you turn, you’ll discover something different, exciting, and incredibly accessible.

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Explore the Hobbiton movie set

FOOD TRAIL With fresh seafood and produce so readily available, it is no wonder that New Zealand is a gastronomic paradise. Whether you opt for a tender lamb or steak, or freshly caught seafood like salmon, cod, whitebait, lobster, mussels and oysters, make sure you pair it with one of New Zealand’s famous wines. A great way to immerse yourself in local cuisine is to head down to a farmers’ market. These atmospheric food hubs are usually open in the morning and are scattered around the island in cities including Whangerei, Kerikeri (Bay of Islands), Matakana, Oratia, Parnell and Porirua.

Family fun in the snow

WINTER WONDERLAND

Auckland is New Zealand’s City of Sails

In June, the winter season announces itself with generous snowfall on New Zealand’s alpine slopes, marking the beginning of winter sports season as well. Lasting up to October, this period is the ideal time for the family to head down together for some fun in the snow. Gentle slopes cater to the novice skier while off-piste skiing and heli-skiing are the options for the brave of heart. Apart from the gorgeous scenery, the ease of acquiring gear and uncrowded slopes contribute to New Zealand’s reputation as a top skiing destination. Visit us at booth no.3H30 for more information.

GETTING THERE

Wine, food and breathtaking views is all you need

Mudbrick vineyard on Island Waiheke

FANTASY WORLD

Hobbit hole, Matamata

If you think New Zealand’s landscape looks like something out of a fantasy novel, you aren’t the only one. The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit director Peter Jackson thought the same when he identified New Zealand as the perfect setting of the magical Middle Earth. Sign up for a guided tour of Frodo and Bilbo’s home Hobbiton and walk around the 44 Hobbit Holes that make up the Shire. The movie tours that depart from Wellington also provide a rare glimpse into Tolkien’s world. The full-day tours bring you to over 30 Lord of the Rings related locations and give participants an insight to what happens behind the scenes.

Auckland Airport is the largest and busiest in the country. Direct ights from Singapore are available through either Singapore Airlines or Jetstar Asia Airways. Other airlines that ply routes to cities in Southeast Asia include Thai Airways (Bangkok) and Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur).

GETTING AROUND Renting your own car is the best way to traverse the beautiful country. Leading car rental companies such as Hertz have counters in Auckland airport. From the airport, the city centre is a 30-45 minute drive away, depending on the trafďŹ c. With wellmaintained highways, legible signs, and a solid tourism infrastructure, it is extremely easy even for ďŹ rst time visitors to ďŹ nd their way around, especially with the help of a GPS. For more information, visit www.newzealand.com/sg


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Driving Phuket’s East Coast The east coast offers the unique chance for visitors to drift easily from rustic simplicity to modern luxury and back again within minutes.

s we circle over Phuket International Airport in preparation for landing, Phuket’s east coast already beckons. It’s a clear day and we can see the towering limestone islands dotted across Phang Nga Bay, glittering like emeralds on the calm blue sea. After arriving, we head east and turn right onto Thepkrassatri Road, Phuket’s main artery that stretches from the north to the south of the island, and thankfully after only a few minutes of driving this speed-crazed highway, we exit off onto the much more peaceful Route 4233, a road that juts into Phuket’s northeast. We take a roundabout route heading north on Nanai Road to Route 4027, then east to Ao Por Pier, a bustling transit point where many tour boats depart for trips into Phang Nga Bay. We ďŹ nd a place to park our car overnight for a reasonable 40 baht, then walk out onto the concrete pier where we’re greeted by a long-tail boatman. After we clamour awkwardly onto the traditional curved-bow wooden vessel, the boatman ďŹ res up the motor with a mighty roar and we set off towards Naka Yai Island.

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NAKA NIGHT We glide along the calm bay waters and round Naka Island to its eastern shore, just 15 minutes away. The boat slides right up onto a tiny beach and we leap over the side onto the soft golden sands of the Tenta Nakara resort, a collection of 16 tents sprinkled up a gently rising, jungle-clad hill. This charming and beautifully crafted resort will be our home for the night. As darkness falls, we gather at the quirky open-air restaurant to enjoy a satisfying dinner that includes the classic

Thai dish, tom yang goong (spicy prawn soup), perfectly seasoned with fresh herbs and spices picked from Tenta’s own gardens. Back onto Route 4027 we head west and make a stop at Khao Phra Thaeo National Park to explore some of the last vestiges of Phuket’s virgin jungle. Just inside the park’s entrance is the Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre, where we learn from the volunteer guides that the cute and cuddly monkeys seen leaping around in the large netted enclosures were rescued from a sad life in the tourist trade. We drive back to the main Thepkrassatri Road, turning left at the roundabout with the stately Heroines Monument at its centre, heading towards Phuket City. The island’s capital brims with excellent restaurants of all types, from simple shops where you can slurp up a hot bowl of Hokkien fried yellow noodles to chic French-Thai fusion eateries.

by a causeway just east of Phuket City. As we drive deeper into Siray, trafďŹ c thins out and the landscape turns ever more lush. We reach a clock tower roundabout and take the second exit to the right. Just past a school we turn right into a small lane adorned with an ornate red and golden peaked arch, the entrance to Wat Koh Siray, a Buddhist temple atop Siray’s highest peak. We park the car next to a gleaming white and red meditation hall, then walk up a paved road to the hilltop. We take the shiny white steps anked by glittering Naga (mythical serpents) up to the main temple (ubosot) that houses an 18-metre-long reclining golden Buddha statue. This serene and sacred image is an impressive sight, matched only by the spectacular panorama that includes the whole of Phuket City, Koh Siray’s fertile hills and miles of blue sea. We also get a bird’s eye view of Siray’s sea gypsy village on Laem Tukkae (Gecko Cape), which we drive to next after descending the hill. The eye-catching Sea Gypsy Cultural Centre is the ďŹ rst thing we see on arrival to the village. The centre’s awardwinning rounded design was inspired by the sea gypsy’s traditional boats. As daylight fades, we bid farewell Koh Siray and drive south to our last eastern destination, Cape Panwa. After our big day exploring the east’s rustic charms, we arrive to the elegant Cape Panwa Hotel & Spa ready for some pampering. We cosy up in the hotel’s softly-lit reading lounge for a nightcap before turning in for the night.

SIRAY STOPOVER Next we’re on to Koh Siray, an island connected to Phuket

Visit us at booth no. 4H16 for more information.


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Win Air Tickets to Bangkok & Koh Samui Daily! Visit booth 4H16 at NATAS Travel 2014 for more details.


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The Global Carrier A comprehensive ight network, award-winning onboard meals, and top-of-the-line premium travel make Korean Air the best in the business. s one of the world’s leading airlines, Korean Air boasts a ight network that is the envy of other carriers. From its base in Seoul’s modern Incheon International Airport, Korean Air links travellers to most major countries including Singapore, Japan, China, and the US. With a eet of 155 aircraft – including eight double-decker Airbus A380s – it operates over 200 ights per day to 125 cities in 45 countries on six continents.

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CONNECTING THE WORLD Its presence in the US is one of its strengths – Korean Air is the largest Asian carrier here and ies into 11 cities in the US. Across the Americas, it operates in 14 different cities: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Houston, Sao Paulo, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver and Washington, DC. Its latest US route, a nonstop service aboard a Boeing 777-200 to Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport, takes off in May 2, 2014. Flights to Incheon will depart from the Terminal D facility at Bush Intercontinental Airport every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 10.40am. Passengers travelling from Southeast Asia to the US and vice versa enjoy a same day connection at Incheon International Airport, a convenience that is well-appreciated among frequent travellers. Additionally, for ights to Los Angeles and New York, Korean Air’s spanking new luxury A380 provide a premium level of comfort and service. For visitors heading to Korea, there is no better choice than Korean Air. Korean Air’s Boeing 777-300 aircraft ply direct ights from Singapore to Incheon and back twice a day. Flights depart from Singapore Changi Airport at 10.30pm and 1.30am, and depart from Incheon at 2.20pm and 6.35pm.

status as the best meal you can have 12,000 metres in the air. The carefully crafted menu includes its signature dish, Bibimbap, a nutritious and tasty medley of rice, vegetable and beef. Korean Air was also one of the ďŹ rst airlines to serve organic breads and salads to passengers. Interestingly, the airline sources its ingredients used for its premium class food from its own ranch on Jeju Island.

IN FLIGHT GOURMET

UNCOMPROMISING COMFORT

Korean Air’s onboard meals are legendary in the industry. It has been awarded the prestigious Mercury Award on multiple occasions, ofďŹ cially conďŹ rming its

With unrivalled offerings in its premium segments, it’s no wonder business travellers and well-heeled jetsetters identify Korean Air as one of their favourite airlines. The

The award-wining Bibimbap meal

Korean Air’s ultra-luxurious A380

uber luxurious Kosmo Suites in First Class is a living room, ofďŹ ce, bedroom, and cinema rolled into one. When it’s time to rest, the seat converts quietly into a spacious 79 inch bed. Over in Prestige (Business) Class, the Prestige Sleeper seats are capable of transforming into 74 inch fully at beds. Economy passengers are not forgotten too and rest easy with ergonomically designed seats containing 10.6 inch monitors. Passengers in all classes can take pleasure in the AVOD (Audio and Video on Demand) system that offers upgraded in-ight entertainment service with high resolution quality and high processing speed ensuring quick access to entertainment services.

Enjoy premium meals in Prestige (Business) Class


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Y5 Buddy Keeps You Connected! For just S$12 per day, you can have a reliable 4G connection with you all the time when you’re overseas. magine being able to upload photos straight away to your Facebook or Instagram accounts whilst you’re on holiday. Share all of the weird and wonderful stuff that you see with your friends as you would normally do at home. Waiting to go back to the hotel for the WiFi or ďŹ nding the next WiFi spot can sometimes take most of the fun out. Auto-roaming charges can give you quite a shock when you come home to check your monthly bill. Purchasing a SIM card is sometimes not worth the hassle if you have to waste precious vacation time on queuing, choosing, bargaining and grappling with foreign languages. Why not just enjoy the fun of carrying youar own high-speed WiFi while travelling? Get connected the very moment you arrive at your destination airport and start posting!

I

in Hong Kong. For as low as S$12 a day, Singapore travellers can have a reliable 4G network connection via the pocket sized device when travelling to Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and parts of China. You will also be able to squeeze out a phenomenal 11 hours of usage from it. This device is a simple plug and play that can connect seamlessly with up to 10 smart devices at the same time from the moment you arrive at your destination. All you and your travel buddies have to do is to switch on the device, search for the secured WiFi signal, and enter the password. That is it. Whether you want to chat on Whatsapp, send multiple emails to your colleagues or post your travelogues onto Facebook, you can do it anywhere, anytime, and on any of your smart-devices.

PLUG & PLAY

EASY ACCESS

Y5Buddy (Singapore) is a partner of Y5Buddy.com based

All you have to do is go online to check device availability.

Make a reservation with our booking system, email or call our ofďŹ ce. Payment can be done via paypal, credit/debit cards, bank transfer or cash, you can choose for the device to be delivered to your home/ofďŹ ce or alternatively you can collect/return it from our ofďŹ ce located near Clarke Quay at South Bridge Road. Y5Buddy (Singapore) will then send you an e- receipt and you’ll receive it latest a day before your ight. Y5Buddy (Singapore) offers all-day support with service centres located in Singapore and Hong Kong giving you the convenience of a portable WiFi that is easy to use and share. To make reservations, go to www.y5buddy.com.sg or email sales@y5buddy.sg


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NATAS Tra

28 February Halls 3, 4 & 5A,

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Getting down with Xiamen & Jinmen

Tel: +65 6338 5566

Web: www.aeholidays.com

Renowned for its luxuriant greenery and idyllic beaches, the dynamic and afuent city is known to host a slew of intriguing historical, cultural, and natural attractions that will give you something to write home about.

Juguan Tower

the streets, as do cafes and restaurants of differing budgets, and portrait artists eager to create new caricatures can be found at every turn. Many visitors also come by to check the European-inspired buildings, so come prepared to be greeted by a sea of bricked walls and dome-shaped windows.

NANPUTUO TEMPLE Located on the southeast of Xiamen island, the famous Buddhist temple that lies south of the Buddhist holy site Mount Putuo in Zhejiang Province was founded during the Tang Dynasty and is hugged by the sea and Wulao peaks. Visitors can climb the mountain behind the temple for panoramic views of the city and of its lush green settings, and can observe hundreds of Buddhist statuettes sheltered in shallow enclaves along the way.

OVERSEAS CHINESE MUSEUM Fujian Tulou

FUJIAN TULOU

GULANGYU ISLAND

Circular and enclosed earth buildings, the structures are a type of Chinese dwellings that have been in existence since the 12th century in the mountainous range of southeastern Fujian province. All 46 Fujian Tulou sites, including Chuxi Tulou cluster, have been grouped as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as they exemplify tradition and function in their environment.

The popular tourist destination that homes some 20,000 residents is a car-free island across the sea from Xiamen that encompasses China’s only piano museum as well as scenic spots such as Sunlight Rock and Shuzhang Garden. It is said that one has not been to Xiamen if he has not seen Sunlight Rock, so be sure to make a trip to the highest point of the island. Vendors hawking a variety of food and trinkets line

EN INM LDING J EN UI IAM HEN B ĺœ&#x;漟 X N 厉 T 4 R ĺ?Ž D A 5 E 金门 ’AN é—¨ A U H y 晚厌 uâ€?

Founded by Chinese philanthropist Chen Jiageng, the museum that is divided into six sections comprises more than 7,000 fascinating relics, documents, and handicrafts, some of include mummies from Xinjiang and various rare creatures. Admission is without charge.

Xiamen University

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8 $55

XIAMEN UNIVERSITY The ďŹ rst-rate school that has been standing since 1921 is directly afďŹ liated with the Education Ministry and boasts a quaint campus that is sandwiched between the sea and the Wulao peaks. The university also aunts also aunts a Luxun Memorial Hall and a Humanities Museum that both draw a good number of visitors every year.

HAICANG BRIDGE A 5,927m suspension bridge that was built in 1999, it plays a major role as it links Xiamen Island to the mainland’s Haicang District. A Bridge Museum exhibiting the science, technology, and history of bridges is situated at the eastern bank of the bridge. Gulangyu Island

Visit us at booth no. 3H49 for more information.


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FREEBIES – CHOOSE ONE OF THE FOLLOWING A) Taxi Vouchers for any tour packages purchase B) Travel Insurance C) Travel vouchers for next trip D) Hard Rock T-shirt worth USD40


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Bespoke Quality Service From North to South America, let Diners World Travel be your choice for customised travel solutions approachable city with stunning views of the bay and beyond. Arguably one of the most beautiful places to visit while in the United States, its sloping gradient of downtown streets has become an instantly recognisable icon of the American west coast.

BUENOS D�AS A wonderful medley of Mesoamerican cultures and modern indigenous tribes, Mexico is a captivating contrast of traditional Spanish culture and modern economic marvel. Past, present, and future collide in the giant ancient pyramids, richly adorned colonial churches, and sophisticated mountains of towering skyscrapers. Immerse yourself in the captivating geology of the country – climb volcanoes, go whale-watching, swim underground, or visit the stunning ochre-stained shores and take a leap of faith off the daredevil cliffs of Acapulco bay. Culture vultures will love the ancient cities of Oaxaca and ChichÊn Itzå on the Yucatån Peninsula, an extraordinary curation of Mayan archeological sites, indigenous traditions, superb local markets, and colonial charm. Don’t be daunted by the urban sprawl of Mexico City – it is a goldmine of artistic, political, and cultural sites that have captured the turbulent and thrilling past of this capital nation. Indulge in unique cuisine and pre-Hispanic sites, like the massive pyramids of Teotihuacån, and take a cultural tour of Tula, the city’s main Toltec site.

WEST COAST BOUND Celebrated as the “land of the freeâ€?, the United States has many faces – from forests of skyscrapers in urban jungles, and acres of beaches crowded with sun worshipping surfers and enthusiasts, to magniďŹ cent feats of engineering such as the culturally iconic Lady Liberty, Empire State Building, and “Hollywoodâ€? sign. A truly multi-faceted and versatile country, there is always something to satisfy any taste and style. Dubbed the city of angels, Los Angeles is a sensational destination ďŹ lled with riveting attractions and vibrant local beach life. No journey to Los Angeles is complete without experiencing the fantasy world of Disneyland and the gilded starstudded streets of Hollywood and Beverly Hills. If you’re looking for something a little quieter and more cultured, San Francisco is a charming and


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Destination Hong Kong Uncover the other side of Hong Kong with Diners World Travel PEARL OF THE ORIENT An eclectic mix of ancient Chinese roots, colonial cultural influences and vibrant commercialism, Hong Kong is also the perfect place to get lost in food nirvana. But while the city is famed for its commercial façade and its reputation as a shopping heaven, over 70% of its land is still covered in hidden geological gems just waiting to be explored. Refresh your body and mind on Lantau Island’s Ngong Ping 360, a fully protected ecological environment that has preserved the island’s very best in custom and culture. Ngong Ping Village offers a plethora of retail, dining, and entertainment choices within its historically themed walls, whereas visitors that are seeking spiritual enlightenment will want p y pilgrimage p to pay to the Tian Tan Buddha at Po

360 3 SKY-LAND-SEA DAY PASS 10am-10.30am: 1 10am-1 10 0 Cable Car from Tung Chung to Ngong Ping 10.45am-11.15am: Bus 21 from Ngong Ping to Tai O 11.15am-1.00pm: Explore Tai O 1.15pm - 1.45pm: Tai O Boat Excursion 2pm - 2.30pm: Bus 21 from Tai O to Ngong Ping 2.45pm - 3.15pm: Visit Ngong Ping Village 3.30pm-5.30pm: Visit Big Buddha, Ngong Ping Piazza & Wisdom Path 5.45pm - 6.15pm: Cable car from Ngong Ping to Tung Chung

Lin Monastery; peace is easy to find while seated serenely by the monastery with breathtaking views of Lantau and the South China Sea. Submerge yourself in the vitality of Tai O Fishing Village, the oldest of its kind in Hong Kong. The gateway between the island and the vast open waters, Tai O is the top choice for classical old world charm and sustainable ecotourism.


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So Much To See & Do! Let FLEXI Indonesia take you on an Indonesian adventure you will never forget.

Learning the Angklung

In Bali, the Relaxing me packages provides true value. Preferred hotels listed with their programme provide either one free meal or a 60 minutes massage, valued at up to US$75 per person. In addition, all your basic needs are taken care of, including a three to ďŹ ve star hotel, return airport transfers and choice of one full day touring and journey with meal. Valued at up to US$20 per person, a Hard Rock Cafe meal voucher, redeemable for selection of one main course and one glass soft drink are included as well. For those who wish to experience an exclusive stay in a private villa resort, or are on a honeymoon trip, there is the Indulging me packages deal that provides couples with the ultimate romantic holiday. It sets the benchmark for luxurious holidays in Bali and offers individualised exclusive package deals with special privileges presented by selected villas resorts. Two nights accommodation in a private pool villa, private return airport transfers and selection of one half day tour with local cuisine are included in the package deal. On top of these, some of the villa properties offer privileges like complimentary dining or 60 minutes massage treatment. Free time has also been factored into the itinerary so you get to explore on your own.

Tanah lot

LEXI Indonesia celebrates its ninth year of bringing clients on their dream holidays this year. Specialising in Indonesian destinations such as Bali, Jakarta, Bandung, Jogjakarta, Surabaya, Malang and Lombok, the company leverages on its extensive network of contacts around the country to ensure its customers are left wholly satisďŹ ed. Every aspect of the organised trips – from the knowledgeable tour guides to the meticulously selected hotels – are handpicked with careful consideration. FLEXI Indonesia’s offerings will meet the needs of all kinds of travellers. Whether you are in search of the country’s famed natural beauty, its exotic wildlife or its colourful and lively festivals, FLEXI Indonesia guarantees you an unforgettable experience.

F

Balinese Dance Lesson

For more information, contact the company through its preferred partners: Scenic Travel Pte Ltd 480 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh, #13-01A, HDB Hub (East Wing) Singapore 310480, Tel: 6226 3611, Booth no. 3H16 Borobudur

DO IT LIKE THE LOCALS FLEXI Indonesia regularly updates its itineraries, making sure customers are treated to the latest attractions the country has to offer. Its latest itineraries provides travellers with a ďŹ rsthand look at local life and allows them to familiarise themselves with the city by going on

guided walking tours in which they will have the chance to meet locals in their traditional homes. Travellers to Bali will even be hosted as a guest at the Royal Palace Pengliatan in Ubud, where they will have a cup of coffee or tea with homemade Balinese cake and learn how to dance with children. In Jogjakarta, travellers can try the traditional Javanese way of having tea with gula cokot (drinking tea while biting brown coconut sugar) in a traditional house with local villagers. Other cultural highlights include learning to play the Sundanese traditional music Angklung from a Master of Angklung.

SingExpress Travel Pte Ltd 1 Park Road, #02-05 People’s Park Complex Singapore 059108, Tel: 6438 2221, Booth no. 4H14 Apple Holidays Pte Ltd 101 People’s Park Centre, B1-16 Singapore 058357 Tel: 6438 2736, Booth no. 3H17 WTS Travel & Tours Pte Ltd No.1 Jalan Anak Bukit, #B1-59/59A Bukit Timah Plaza Tel: 6467 8558, Email: enquiries@wtstravel.com.sg, Booth no. 4H15 Konsortium Express and Tours Pte Ltd 6001 Beach Road #01-52B, Golden Mile Tower Singapore 199589, Tel: 6392 5000, Booth no. 3H15A

PACKAGE SWEETENERS Drinking tea with gula cokot

Further setting itself apart from its competitors, FLEXI Indonesia adds an entire list of value-added options to its itineraries.

New Shan Travel 20 Maxwell Road, #01-02 Maxwell House Singapore 069113, Tel: 6481 1181, Booth no. 4H26


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Extraordinary Nagano Follow Me Japan brings you to these iconic sites in Nagano Prefecture.

Tsumago post town

Daio Wasabi farm

TSUMAGO POST TOWN

JIGOKUDANI YAEN-KOEN

ocated on the Nakasendo route in between Kyoto and Edo, Tsumago Post Town is considered one of the best preserved post towns in the country. Tourist visiting Tsumago enter a wormhole that transports them all the way back to the glorious Edo period. Here, you will not see any cars on the main street in the day and all power cables are hidden, which contributes to the otherworldly ambience of the town.

The Jigokudani Yaen-koen is quite an unusual attraction, and one that brings many curious onlookers to this location which is situated 850 metres above sea level in the northern part of Nagano Prefecture. Every year, when the snowy season arrives and the temperature starts to dip, the wild Japanese macaques (snow monkeys) that live here descend into the hot springs to keep their bodies warm. Their human-like behaviour and expressions make for extremely amusing photo opportunities.

L

DAIO WASABI FARM Spread over a 15 hectare footprint, Daio Wasabi Farm is Japan’s largest wasabi farm. Located in Kotaka, Azumino, 32 kilometres north from the centre of Matsumoto, the farm’s history dates back to 1915. Presently, Daio Wasabi Farm is a popular tourist spot and is frequently visited for its beautiful windmills and view of the Alps. Take a break at its restaurant and sample its soba noodles with freshly picked wasabi from the farm, wasabi-avoured ice cream, and other wasabi products.

TOGAKUSHI SHRINE The Togakushi Shrine is related to a well-known tale in local mythology in which a deity threw the door of a cave where the misbehaving Sun Goddess was hiding in all the way to its present position at Togakushi in Nagano Prefecture. The ground consists of a lower, middle, and upper shrine. The upper shrine worships the deity which threw the door and the middle one enshrines another deity. The shrines are connected by roads and hiking trails, some leading through paths lined by trees over 800 years old. An alternative route to the upper shrine goes through Kagamike Pond, a perfectly reective water body that displays its surrounding mountains nicely.

Jigokudani Yaen-Koen

Nagano soba

NOZAWA ONSEN Also located in the northern part of Nagano Prefecture, Nozawa Onsen is a hot spring and ski resort village that made its name in the Edo period. The village is found at the foot of Kenashi-yama at an altitude of 1,650 metres and boasts scenery that changes colour with the season. However, it is during winter that the village gets more vibrant. Skiers and snowboarders from around Japan as well as the world come to Nozawa for its fantastic ski slopes and its world class onsen. If you’re a beginner, have no fear. The Nozawa Onsen Ski School welcomes skiers of all skill levels.

NAGANO SHINKANSEN Connecting Nagano with Tokyo, the Nagano Shinkansen was unveiled in October 1997 before the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics. The Nagano Shinkaansen is the ďŹ rst section of the Hokuriku Shinkansen line that will connect to Kanazawa, Tsuruga, and eventually, Osaka. Togakushi Shrine

Tsumago post town

Visit us at booth no.3H44 for more information.


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Your Japan Specialist H.I.S. Travel is the leading travel agency for tours to the country. eadquartered in Tokyo, H.I.S. Travel is one of the largest travel companies in Japan. With over 33 years of history, the company enjoys a solid reputation as a reliable travel provider that gives customers the best priced, most original, and widest variety of Japan travel products. Their network and inuence in the travel industry enables them to gain access to the latest and best deals in the market, which is in turn transferred to their customers. H.I.S. Travel offers tours of all sorts, including free and easy tours, selfdrive holidays, group tours, optional tours, customised packages, JR passes and air tickets.

H

KUROBE ALPINE ODYSSEY One of the company’s itineraries takes you to the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route. Spanning 37km, the route enchants visitors with the kaleidoscopic colours of nature in its different seasons. This route is particularly special in April and May when the Alpine Route is open. MagniďŹ cent snow walls, ‘Yuki no Otani’ (Great Valley of Snow), reach up to 20 metres in height. The best way to experience its splendour is by taking the 500m ‘Yuki no Otani’ walk.

SPRING IN HONSHU

Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route

Departing from Singapore on March 17, 2014, H.I.S. Travel’s Spring in Honshu itinerary starts from Osaka and takes travellers through gorgeous ancient castles, landscapes with blooming owers, and modern shopping centres. In between cities, the tours stopover at onsen resorts, providing you with the perfect opportunity to revitalise your minds and bodies. Highlights of the tour include Osaka Castle, Kiyomizu Temple, Takayama, Mount Fuji, Lake Ashi, Disneyland or Disneysea, the Gotemba Premium Outlets, and Shirakawa-go, the village famous for its gassho-zukuri style buildings.

BLOOMING HONSHU The Blooming Honshu itinerary starts from March 22, 2014, and showcases the beauty of spring in Japan. Gain an intimate insight into the fascinating culture of Japan with stops at Heian Jingu, a scaled-down replica of the original Imperial Palace built in 1895; Todaiji, home of the largest Buddha statue in Japan; Takayama Old Town, a beautifully preserved village that thrived during the Edo period; Shirakawa-go; and Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji Market. Visit us at booth no.3H76 for more information.

Coming up..... Our Chef is cooking up a new storm in September 2012. * !!# $"$), *!), *  "' ), *& $") * "

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Home Of Mythic Legend New Shan Travel’s 10-Day Athens, Mykonos and Santorini package transports you back in time to Ancient Greece.

Santorini

DAY 5: MYKONOS

Athens

After a nice warm breakfast, take this opportunity to venture around this Cycladic island renowned for its striking windmills. Wander the maze of narrow alleys and array of shops, and keep your eye out for fantastic bargains. Visit Paraportiani, one of the 365 churches of the island and enjoy the famous night life of the island in the evening.

DAY 1: SINGAPORE – DOHA Depart from Singapore Changi Airport and get ready for a wonderful trip!

DAY 2: DOHA – ATHENS DAY 6: MYKONOS – SANTORINI

Transfer to your hotel for check in upon arrival. Explore Athens at your own pace; take the opportunity to visit the numerous museums, parks, and the shopping areas of Kolonaki, Hermou, Voukourestiou Street, Monastiraki, and Plaka.

After breakfast, transfer to the port of Mykonos for your ride on the speedboat to Santorini. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel for check in. Spend the rest of the day in the romantic city. Don’t miss the famous Santorini sunset which is probably the most famous in the world.

DAY 3: ATHENS After a hearty breakfast, your friendly local guide will pick you from the hotel for a half day morning city tour. This tour takes you to Syntagma Square, the House of Parliament, the Memorial of the Unknown Soldier, the National Library, Hadrian’s arch, the Temple of Zeus and the Panathenaic Stadium (where the first Olympic Games of the modern era were held in 1896). Following this, you will visit the Acropolis which houses the architectural masterpieces of the golden

DAY 7: SANTORINI Enjoy a sumptuous breakfast in the hotel and explore this amazing island that was formed by the eruption of a volcano back in 1600BC. Explore and enjoy all that the island has to offer. A stirring combination of history and nature, Santorini will stay in your hearts for the rest of your life. Acropolis

age of Athens. That includes the Propylaea, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Erectheion and the Parthenon. You may want to consider making a trip to the Museum of Acropolis (closed on Monday) where you get to see the statues of the classical era.

DAY 4: ATHENS – MYKONOS

Mykonos

After breakfast, transfer to the Athens port of Piraeus to take the ferry to the island of Mykonos. A local representative of New Shan Travel will be waiting at the port of Mykonos upon arrival and will assist you in the transfer to the hotel.

DAY 8: SANTORINI – ATHENS After breakfast, travel to the port for your ferry back to Athens. Upon arrival in Athens, transfer back to hotel for check in.

DAY 9: ATHENS – SINGAPORE Enjoy another free day in the capital of Greece and take the chance to shop for souvenirs for your loved ones back home, and for yourself to remember this journey by.

DAY 10: SINGAPORE Arrive back in Singapore. Home sweet home! Visit us at booth no.4H26 for more information.


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Australian Promises New Shan Travel’s 8D6N Sydney and Melbourne excursion showcases the top attractions in and beyond the city centre. DAY 1: SINGAPORE – SYDNEY Revel in your anticipation as you prepare yourself for your holiday.

DAY 2: SYDNEY CITY

The Sydney Opera House from the Harbour Bridge

Welcome to Sydney! On arrival, begin your morning with a city sightseeing tour to Miss Macquarie’s Chair overlooking the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House. Next, proceed to the iconic Sydney Opera House and pose for a shot with the Harbour Bridge in the background. Visit the famous Sydney Fish Market to get some fresh oysters or the ubiquitous fish and chips before making your way to Paddy’s Market for shopping.

DAY 3: SYDNEY – BLUE MOUNTAINS Put on your walking shoes today as you visit the spectacular Blue Mountains and The Three Sisters rock formation, which according to Aboriginal legend were three sisters of the Katoomba tribe that were turned into stone. Next, hop on to the Scenic Railway train, which is the world steepest and travel down to the dense forest of the region. Walk in the national park, which used to be the mining place of the early settlements, and on the way uphill, step into the glass-bottom cable car where you will get a wonderful view of The Three Sisters from a distance.

DAY 5: SYDNEY – MELBOURNE

penguins returning home after spending the day ďŹ shing.

Depart Sydney in the morning for your domestic ight for Melbourne. Upon your arrival in Melbourne, you will be brought for a city tour to the Fitzroy Garden, Docklands, and Chinatown before dinner.

DAY 6: MELBOURNE – PHILLIP ISLAND Take a slow relaxing breakfast and begin your tour late in the morning. Proceed to Phillip Island where great attractions await. Enter the Warrook Cattle farm and get up close and personal with authentic Aussie working animals, local chocolate maker – Penny’s Chocolate, as well as the illusions, maze and puzzles of Amaze ‘N Things. In the evening, get a rare view of 60,000

DAY 7: MELBOURNE Enjoy a free day in the cultural capital of Australia. Spend the day visiting one of the many museums and chill out in the best independent coffee joints in the country. You can also sign up for the optional tour to the Great Ocean Road for amazing views of the Twelve Apostles, London Arch, and Victoria’s gorgeous coast.

DAY 8: MELBOURNE - SINGAPORE Transfer to the airport in the morning for your ight back to sunny Singapore. Visit us at booth no.4H26 for more information.

DAY 4: SYDNEY The world – or Sydney – is your oyster! Discover what the city offers as you stroll along Darling Harbour, or hop into Australia’s capital city Canberra. An alternative optional tour brings you to Port Stephens, an area known for breathtaking coastal scenery.

The Three Sisters

Docklands at night

STAR

Australia Free & Easy Packages

HIGHLIGHT

Sydney: 4*6&397*&6'3966.),*.77&(59&6.*7-&.6 6 "-6**!.78*67 3(/!(*2.( &.0;&<Melbourne:.8=63<&6)*2 3(/0&2)7-.0.4770&2)*22<7-3(30&8*1&=*%"-.2,7 #&6633/&880*&61*2,9.2&6&)* Discount up to

Carrier: QF Dep Dates: 46.0  &< 92*  fr. $1,388

$1000 per couple, ďŹ rst 5 couples only

6D Memorable Melbourne *0'3962*.8<"3966*&8(*&2 3&) Choice of 1 Tour : *2,9.2&6&)*#.0)0.+*&6/?9+>2,.00<#.2*"&78.2, 09*&2)*232,?!3:*6*.,2.00?362.2,832*2.2790& !86&;'*66<.(/.2, Carrier:! fr. $698

Daily Depart

Australia Free & Easy Packages ?  *68-6**&7< ?  )*0&.)*6**&7< ?  30)3&786**&7< ?  !<)2*<6**&7< ?  *0'3962*6**&7< Carrier:!$

fr. $488 fr. $368 fr. $378 fr. $368 fr. $398 Daily Depart

6D Gold Coast Theme Parks Adventure + Tangalooma

FAMILY FUN PROGRAM

3:.*#360)6*&1#360)"634.(&069.8&61!/<43.28*(/

#!&2)'3&6).2,304-.2**).2, Carrier: SQ Dep Dates:&6  46.0  &<  92*  fr. $1,088

5D Perth Fremantle Fremantle Market Choice of 1 Tour : .22&(0*73&0&71!&2)'3&6).2,?#&:* 3(/ $36/#.0)0.+*?&6,&6*8 .:*6&,0*7&:*&4***9;.2 Carrier: SQ, QF fr. $1,048

Daily Depart


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Beauty At Every Corner Set amidst a gorgeous backdrop of majestic mountains, Nepal offers a plethora of activities for the adventurous traveller. TREKKING Blessed with a magniďŹ cent mountainous landscape, including earthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s highest peak Mount Everest, Nepal is the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s premier trekking destination. The tourism industry in Nepal is well-prepared to service the many adventure seekers that Nepal welcomes and makes it extremely easy for visitors to acquire the necessary gear and logistical arrangements in order to go on that trek of a lifetime. Resorts Travelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 11 Day Mount Everest Trek is a relatively easy one which takes you along the foothills of the famous mountain. The Sherpa villages and numerous suspension bridges along the way add to the allure of the place and guarantee an unforgettable experience.

Nepal is set within a majestic backdrop of mountains

Trekking

it a country that possesses a rich and diverse cultural heritage. Cultural tours take you to religious and historical sites so as to provide an intimate glimpse into Nepalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s traditions beliefs.

SAFARI & BIRD WATCHING (CHITWAN)

Peace Pagoda in Lumbini

A ďŹ ve-hour drive from Kathmandu, the Chitwan National Park is the best place in Nepal to practice your birdwatching instincts. Ornithologists from around the world have long considered Chitwan a venerated spot for avian spotting. Rare species you can hope to see here include the Emerald Dove, Changeable Hawk-eagle, Red-headed Trogon, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, River Lapwing, Whitebrowed Wagtail, Collared Falconet, and many more.

they help. In return, they return with their hearts touched and their own existence fulďŹ lled.

BIKING Guided mountain biking tours in Nepal are unlike similar tours in other countries. Here, you will be constantly surrounded by mountains that reach for the sky and stay overnight in locally-run teahouses.

ADVENTURE Adrenaline junkies count Nepal as their number one ďŹ x for their adventure needs. Rafting, rock climbing, bungee jumping and abseiling are just a few of the exciting activities that can be easily arranged.

RELIGIOUS TOURS (LUMBINI) The birthplace of Buddha is one of the most well-known pilgrimage sites as well as an achingly beautiful one. Embark on a tour of Lumbini to not only explore where Buddha was born, but also to learn more about the religion and view extraordinary Buddhist attractions with the help of an experienced local guide.

MICE & TEAM BUILDING

Visit us at booth no.3H60 for more information.

Easy accessibility, world class facilities, and efďŹ cient support organisations have made Nepal a popular place for the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s business community to convene. In Kathmandu, the International Conference Center boasts many halls of varying sizes, the largest being able to hold over a thousand people comfortably.

PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR The existence of many available photography tours to Nepal should provide a fair hint at how wonderful the country is. Most tours take participants to a mixture of attractions which include medieval sites, temples, and villages where they can encounter the ethnic Nepalese and experience the local culture in close proximity. With the Himalayas always ready in the background, all your photos promise to be stunning.

CHARITY & SOCIAL WORK There are many opportunities for social work in Nepal. SelďŹ&#x201A;ess groups of volunteers regularly make their way to the villages and orphanages that are scattered in the country and truly make a difference in the lives of those

Lukla Town

YOGA & MEDITATION Weighed down by the stress of work and daily life? The many yoga retreats in Nepal will revitalise your tired mind and soul. Daily yoga and meditation sessions, along with visits to sacred sites serve to heal the spirit and leave you ready to face the world ahead.

CULTURAL TOUR Nepalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s variety of ethnic and religious groups makes

Namche Bazzar lights up at night

Pokhara Lake


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KGH Boutique Hotel

Pioneers in Nepalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Tourism Backed by 47 years of putting smiles on the faces of travellers, KGH Group of Hotels, Resort, Spa and Travelsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; properties are spread all over the country. pened in 1968, the KGH Boutique Hotel has hosted some of the most famous people in the world â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the Beatles in its inaugural year, Ricky Martin in 1999 and 2000, and Jeremy Irons in 2003. Co-founder of Lonely Planet Tony Wheeler has listed KGH Boutique Hotel as one of his top 30 hotels. KGH is located in a prime area in Thamel within walking distance to shops and restaurants. The Park Village Resort is set in ďŹ ve acres of greenery and is a sanctuary for not only human guests, but also butterďŹ&#x201A;ies and birds. The resort is just below the Shivpuri hills and nearby a number of Buddhist monasteries and the sleeping Vishnu temple. The Maruni Sanctuary Lodge in Chitwan National Park puts guests right in the middle of lush forest and vibrant wildlife. The national park contains endangered animals like the one-horned rhinoceros, tigers, and the gharial crocodile, which pay a visit the hotelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pond occasionally. Spread across eight acres of land in Lumbini is the Buddha Maya Garden Hotel. Using the hotel as a base, guests have convenient access to fascinating archaeological ruins and magniďŹ cent monasteries built by various Buddhist nations. The latest addition to the KGH Hotels Park Village Resort family is the Waterfront Resort in Pokhara. Opened in 2012, it overlooks the Phewa Lake and boasts spectacular mountain views from every room. In Pokhara, Nepalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s adventure town, guests can indulge in bungee jumping, paragliding, water sports, zipline, mountain biking and trekking. One trek that departs from Pokhara is the Maruni Sanctuary Lodge Poon Hill trek that brings travellers through charming villages, dense rhododendron forests, and deep tropical valleys below the Annapurna mountain range with the Machhapuchhare (Fishtail Peak) dominating the skyline. The more adventurous can embark on an Everest region trek. The Everest base camp trek takes you through beautiful Sherpa Buddha Maya Garden Hotel monasteries on the way to the mountain base camp at 17,590 feet. A more relaxed route to the base camp is the teahouse trek, wherein conveniently located teahouses are ready to put you up for the night should you wish to rest and enjoy the view.

O

Visit us at booth no.3H60 for more information.

Waterfront Resort in Pokhara


46 rTHE TRAVEL TIMES r'&#36"3:."3$)

Voyages of Discovery Explore Asiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most exciting new destinations with Star Cruises f youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking to go someplace unique for your holidays, a cruise may just be the perfect getaway. As the pioneering cruise line in the Asia-PaciďŹ c region, Star Cruisesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; ďŹ&#x201A;eet of luxury liners leads the way in offering trips to up-and-coming destinations, complemented by a variety of shore excursions at their ports of call to satisfy individual travel preferences while allowing passengers to experience the highlights of each destination. Whether youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re a culture and history buff or a shopaholic in search of unique souvenirs, knowledgeable local guides leading the excursions will open your eyes to the multifaceted beauty of Asia.

I

The newly upgraded retail zone on SuperStar Virgo

MEETING MALAYSIAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S MAIDENS For a quick getaway filled with endless new discoveries, SuperStar Gemini has got the right itineraries to offer. From 2 April to 31 October 2014, passengers will set sail from Singapore every other Sunday to Kuantan and Pulau Redang, and every other Wednesday to Pulau Tioman. If azure clear waters, soft white sands, suntans and dunking refreshing coconut drinks are your idea of fun, then Pulau Redang and Pulau Tioman will entice you to no end. Dive into the enchanting seascape of gorgeous corals and marine life, picking from a plethora of water activities, or simply soaking in the sun. In Pulau Redang, adventurous ones can opt to experience the thrill of breathing underwater, or the ingenious glass-bottomed boats for those whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like to enjoy the seaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s beauty without getting wet. Those whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like to stay closer to modernity while still taking in new sights, sail along to the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia towards Kuantan. Although inherently modernised thanks to its status as the capital of Pahang Darul Makmur, Kuantan has managed to retain slices of its past, where its common to find local activities such as top spinning and monkeys plucking coconuts directly from trees. Water babies can still enjoy themselves at Teluk Chempedak, the enclosed bay making a perfect spot for water sports. Sailing a little 50 km south of Kuantan along the banks of Pahang River is Pekan, the royal town of the state of Pahang Darul Makmur. Take in the well-preserved architecture of historical buildings, including the Royal Palace of the Sultan of Pahang and Sultan Abu Bakar Museum (Pahang State Museum). 42 km northwest of Kuantan is the old mining town of Sungai Lembing. Once the deepest and longest underground mine in the world, explore the tin mine in its original state, even having the

opportunity to enter the area onboard a â&#x20AC;&#x153;Minecraftâ&#x20AC;?, thereafter looking at various collections of mining paraphernalias at the Sungai Lembing Museum.

NEWLY IMPROVED The largest of Star Cruisesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Asian fleet, SuperStar Virgo recently went through a US$25 million renovation, receiving a lavish makeover across its rooms, retail, dining and recreational activities. Guests can expect a better overnight experience in wider cabins, and waking up to indulge in retail therapy over a larger duty-free shopping zone, now triple the original size to 562 sqm. Other than international brands, the ship receives new tenants China Duty Free, jewellery and watch specialist Canopus, luxury leather goods retailer Milan Station and souvenir shop Ports Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Call, offering more choices of perfume, cosmetics, fashion accessories, luxury and lifestyle products. The 13-deck ship is currently homeported in Singapore, and will begin her six-month Hong Kong homeport deployment from 12 April, bringing passengers to Keelung (Taipei), Taichung and Kaohsiung in Taiwan, Sanya in Hainan and Halong Bay in Vietnam.

Kuantan

DEALS & STEALS t SuperStar Gemini 1-For-1 Cruises from S$566 (2 persons), from 2 Apr â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 28 May 2014 and 2 Jul â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 31 Oct 2014 departures. Locations include Tioman & Kuantan (Malaysia) and Krabi (Thailand). t SuperStar Virgo 1-For-1 Cruises from S$656 (2 persons), for selected 2 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 12 Nov 2014 departures. t 35% off SuperStar Gemini, from S$393 per person, valid for selected 30 May â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 27 Jun 2014 cruises. t SuperStar Virgoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s school holidays cruises, from S$310 per person, for selected 2 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 30 Mar 2014 & 14 Nov â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 31 Dec 2014 departures. t 1-for-1 Fly/Coach Cruises, locations include Taiwan, Sanya/Halong Bay, Hong Kong and Okinawa Islands, Japan. The renowned constellation-namesake vessels SuperStar Virgo, SuperStar Gemini, SuperStar Libra, SuperStar Aquarius, and SuperStar Pisces are rotated on various itineraries throughout the year. For more information, call 6223 0002 or visit www.starcruises.com or Star Cruises Sales Booth 4H13, located at Singapore Expo Hall 4 during the NATAS Travel 2014 (28 Feb â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2 Mar 2014).

Kids having fun on the waterslide

Spacious cabin for a good night rest


47 • THE TRAVEL TIMES • 28 FEBRUARY - 02 MARCH 2014


48 rTHE TRAVEL TIMES r'&#36"3:."3$)

APRIL

N

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3

5

BEGINNING OF THE BECOMING: BATAK SCULPTURE FROM NORTHERN SUMATRA

DINOSAURS: DAWN TO EXTINCTION

TASTE OF CAPE TOWN

NAGHOL

Singapore: Survey over 80 Batak wood, bronze, and stone carvings and be enlightened on this particular Indonesian culture, religion, and architecture, among many others, at the Asian Civilisations Museum. Majority of the artefacts are on loan from the Mandala Foundation, and must-sees include a sandstone ďŹ gurine from the 17th century and Chinese porcelain medicine container. acm.org.sg

Singapore: Wend your way through 600 million years back in time and see how these digniďŹ ed reptiles of prehistoric periods had lived and evolved. The exhibition features hundreds of fossils, specimens, and illustrations and will hold various programmes, workshops, and special guided tours to keep your imagination ignited at the ArtScience Museum. marinabaysands.com

Cape Town: Coddle the taste buds of loved ones with an extensive array of ďŹ&#x201A;avours from a select range of restaurants, pop-up eateries, and producers of wine, beer, and dessert at Green Point Cricket Club as you pick up impressive tricks from the cooking demonstrations and learn about certain canapĂŠ-wine pairings together with likeminded gourmet hunters. tasteofcapetown.com

Pentecost Island: Hold your breath as you witness local men of the Sa tribe plummet down a 30-metre tall wooden tower with only two tree vines bound to their ankles. An annual event, the renowned land diving ritual that is performed every Saturday during this period is executed to both ensure a rich yam harvest and to demonstrate the menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s masculinity and fearlessness.

13

19

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MAHA THINGYAN

ROPPONGI ART NIGHT

TIN HAU FESTIVAL

KINGâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S DAY

Yangon: Celebrate the Burmese equivalent of the spring festival with its showcase of cultural performances and dazzling parades and participate in a dynamic water festival for bucketloads of fun. Everyone is fair game during this period, so come prepared to get fully soaked.

Tokyo: In its sixth edition, the 32-hour extravaganza that welcomed some 830,000 visitors last year returns to feature an electrifying lineup of ďŹ lms, exhibitions, nighttime experiences, dialogue sessions, musical and theatrical performances, and a street parade at Roppongi Hills, Tokyo Midtown, and the National Art Centre Tokyo. roppongiartnight.com

Hong Kong: The annual event that celebrates the Goddess of the Sea and that takes place on the 23rd of every lunar month will allow visitors to experience the rich culture of the country and to witness exciting festive sights such as a parade of ďŹ&#x201A;oral wreathes, exciting lion dances, and the lighting of ďŹ recrackers, among many others.

Amsterdam: Princess Beatrixâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s abdication from the throne last year will allow the city to honour the new king, WillemAlexander, with the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ďŹ rst Kingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day. The annual national celebration sees approximately a million people taking to the streets to behold the dances, parades, street acts, and many other types of festive performances and to pick up buys of sorts from the legendary ďŹ&#x201A;ea market.

th to 16th

ow to 27th Jul

th to 20th

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th to 28th Jun

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Images: Marina Bay Sands; Asian Civilisations Museum; Taste of Cape Town; Wikipedia; Wikipedia; Roppongi Art Night Executive Committee; Wikipedia; Amsterdam Marketing

ow to 1st Jun


49 • THE TRAVEL TIMES • 28 FEBRUARY - 02 MARCH 2014

your travelling choice around a rou round the the h world world at wo t Nam Nam Ho oT Travel! rav ave el! l! Singapore Expo Halls 3B, 4, 5 | 28 Feb-2 Mar (Fri to Sun) | Nam Ho Travel Booth: JAPAN

KOREA

7D New Golden Route - New Honshu

(JPWT7) (Wakayama/Shirahama/Kushimoto/Nachikatsuura/Toba/Fuji/Tokyo) Delicious, Sashimi, Sushi and Traditional Ramen, 3 Night Onsen Hotspring Hotel (Cave Onsen), Fruits Picking Fun, Soya Sauce Ice Cream Tasting, Morning Fish Market Tuna Fish Auction, Visit World Heritage – Nachi Waterfall & Grand shrine, Miki - Motor Pearl – Woman diver performance Dep: Apr 1, 5, 10, 12, 15, 17, 23, May 6, 10, 14, 18, 20, 24, 26, 31 Jun 4, 7, 10, 12, 19, 23, 28 fr

$1,688

THAILAND 4/5D Chiangmai/Chiangrai + 2N Bangkok

8D Discovering Korea in Spring(KR8BB)

(TH4LC/TH5LC) Dep: [4D- MI] Every Sun, [5D-MI] Every Wed Dep:[6/7D, TG] Daily Departure * Additional 2N BKK Free and Easy Group Dep: May 18, 21, 25, 28, Jun 1, 4, 8, 15, 18, 22 fr

Catch Cherry Blossom at Yeoui-do Yoonjung-ro Cherry Blossom Street, Shopping at The Face Shop, Myeongdong, Visit N Seoul Tower, Mt Sorak & Teddy Bear Museum, DIY Kimchi Making, Cheese Making & Fruit Picking, Experience Horse Riding, ATV Ride, Sheep Feeding & Rail Bike, Gala Dinner on Han River Dinner Cruise with Mediacorp Artist – Felicia Chin Dep: Apr 12, 13 fr

$448 5D Land of Smiles: Bangkok/Pattaya (TH5LS) Dep:Every Wed, Fri, Sun Daily Dep: 6 persons & above Group Dep: May 21, 23, 28, Jun 4, 6, 11, 17, 20, 25

$1,699

8D Exclusive Korea (KR8E)

7D5N Colourful Hokkaido (JPH7)

Shopping at The Face Shop, Myeongdong, Dongdaemun, Sinchon Ladies Street, Watch NANTA Show, DIY Ice Craving & Drink, Kimchi Making, Enjoy Themepark at Everland, Lotte World Adventure, Visit Mt Sorak, Teddy Bear Farm, Sungsan Sunrise Peak, Enjoy ATV Ride & Horse Riding at Jeju Dep: Mar 18, 25, 31, Apr 1, 8, 15, 18, 22, 24, May 6, 10, 13, 20, 25, 27,29, Jun 7, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 21, 28

Delicious King Crab, Snow Crab Sashimi, Sushi, Traditional Ramen, Eat-All-U-Can Yubari Melon (seasonal fruits), 3 Night Onsen Hotspring Hotel, Yubari Melon Bread Making, Ride on a Horse Carriage or on a bicycle around the House Park, Asahikawa Otokoyama Sake Brewery, Floral Visit to Furano Floral Farm Dep: Apr 5, 8, 12, 15, 17, 22, May 6, 10, 12, 17, 19, 22, 29 Jun 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, 16, 23, 28 fr

3D2N Seoul Free & Easy (KRFIT)

7D5N Japan Beautiful Alpine Route (JPALP)

2Night Stay at Hotel Manu (4*), Daily Breakfast & Return Airport Transfer Provided Daily Dep fr (Land Tour)

$1,788

3 nights Onsen Hotspring Hotels, 6 different types of transportation Alpine route, Koka Ninja Village, Samarui District, Natural Beauty – Tojinbo, Fruit-Picking experience & Wasabi Farm, River Boat Ride at Dep: Apr 15, 17, 19, 22, 23, May 7, 10, 12, 18, 24, 31 Jun 6, 10, 13, 17, 20 fr

$1,738

TAIWAN 7D Blooming Taiwan (TW7BB) Special Floral Visit to Taoyuan Valley Garden, Themepark Fun at Lih-Pao Amusement Park, DIY Activities include DIY Bamboo Windmill, MochiMaking, Old Streets at Pingxi Old Street, Shifen Old Street, Nanzhuang Old Street, 1 Night Stay at Dakeng Leisure Farm Dep: Mar 3,10,24,31, Apr 7,14,21,28, May 5,19,26 Jun 2,9,16,23,30 *Selected Departure Dates fr

$988

8D i Taiwan (TW8ITW) Night Markets at Raohe Street, Leo Ho Night Market, Fong Jia Night Market, Farm Activities at Shangrila Leisure Farm, Rei Suei Leisure Farm, Enjoy at Shifen Old Street(Sky Lantern), Ten Drum Ciatou Creative Park, Chiku Lagoon, Scenic Places at Sun Moon Lake, Taroko National Park, Themepark at Janfusan, Fancyworld Amusement Park Dep: Mar 2, 9, 23, 30, Apr 2, 6, 13, 20 May 4, 11, 18, 25 Jun 1, 4, 8, 11, 18, 22 *Selected Departure Dates fr

$1,088

8D Touch Taiwan

(TW8TOU) Themepark Fun at Eda Themepark, Night Market at Ximenting, Leo Ho Night Market, Fong Jia Night Market, Farm Activities at Happiness Farm 20, Jin Yon DIY Recreation Farm, Scenic Places at Taroko Gorge, Yeliu, Chiufen, 1Night Stay at Toucheng Leisure Farm, Master Bear Resort Dep: Mar 16, 18, 23, 25, Apr 1, 8, 13, 22, May 4, 6, 19, 20 Jun 1, 3, 5, 10, 12, 17, 24 *Selected Departure Dates fr

$999

EUROPE

fr

$1,468

$288

AUSTRALIA 6D4N Great Fun @ Gold Coast

(AU6GFG) Tangalooma, 4WD Desert Safari, Sand Tobogganing, Wild Dolphin Feeding, Dreamworld, Catch a Crab Cruise, Birds Bay Oyster Farm, Tropical Fruit World, Superbee Honeyworld, Movie World Special: 1 Night Stay at Tangalooma Resort Dep: Jun 6, 13 fr

$1,628 6D4N Magnifient Melbourne Discovery

(AU6MMD) Shopping at Queen Victoria Market, Harbour Town Factory, Enjoy scenic spots at Great Ocean Road & Loch Ard Gorge, Visit Warrook Cattle Farm & Maru Koala Animal Farm, 1Night Stay at Philip Island Dep: Jun 6, 13 fr

$1,368

6D4N Sydney Scenic Explorer

(AU6SSE) Sydney City Tour, Port Stephen, Dolphin Watch Cruise, 4WD Sand Safari, Blue Mountain, Featherdale Wildlife, 2000 Olympic Park Special: 1 Night Stay at Port Stephens Dep: Jun 7,14 fr

$1,488

5D4N Perth Mandurah & Farmstay

(AU5PMF) Fremantle, Mandurah Canal Cruise Tour, Bindoon Windmill Farm [BBQ Lunch, Feed Farm Animal, Sheep Shearing, Horse Riding, Fruit Orchard, Traditional Wool Spinning, Cow Milking, Swan Valley, Caversham Wildlife, King’s Park, Perth Mint Dep: Jun 7, 14 fr

$1,288

HONG KONG/MACAU 5D Hong Kong Funtasia (HK5FUN) Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, The Peak Tram Ride, Hong Kong Disneyland, Ocean Park, Seafood Lunch @ Lamma Island, Repulse Bay Dep: Sep 2, 4, 7, 8, 9, 18, 25, Oct: 2, 9, Nov: 20, 23, 24, 29 Dec: 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17, 22 *Selected Departure Dates fr

$999

13D9N Irresistible Swiss Germany Holland Paris (EU13KU) Entrance to Keukenhof Gardens, 2Nights Stay in Amsterdam 2Nights Stay in Paris, 2Nights Free in Dubai Dep: Apr 17, 24, 28, May 1, 5

4H17

2D Free Dubai + Tulip Season

fr

$3,188

$198

CAMBODIA

fr

$368

5D Bangkok/Hua Hin (TH5BH) Dep: Every Thurs, Sat, Daily Dep: 6 persons & above Group Dep: May 23, 30 Jun 6, 13, 20, 27

CHINA 5/7/8D Shanghai, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Wuxi, Nanjing (CNPVG5/7/8) Shopping: Xintiandi, Qipu Road, Chenghuangmiao, Scenic: Ling Ou Garden, Hangzhou Xihu Lake, Li Lake Garden, Taihu Lake, Zhouzhuang, Shanghai Maglev Train - experience the world’s first commercialized operation line-Pearl of the Orient(Second ball) - 360 Degree view around the whole shanghai, Museum: Nanjing Museum (Jade Museum), Wax Museum Daily Dep fr (Fly By SQ)

$398

5/7D Beijing/Chengde/Tian Jin (CNPEK5/7) Shopping: Donghuamen Night Market, Wangfujing Street, Ya Xiu, Clothes Market, Xiushui Night Market, Old Cultural Street, Theme Park: Happy Valley Theme Park, Attractions: Summer Palace, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Tomb of Genghis Khan, Underwater World Expo, Enjoy: Fruit Plucking (Seasonal), Fun ride on a famous Beijing trishaw Daily Dep fr (Fly By SQ)

$498

2014 Friendly Shandong 8D Fragrant Peony Floral Tour (CNTAO8) Floral Visit: Qingdao [Cherry, Tulip], Yantai [Pear], Jinan [magnolia, jasmine], Fengcheng [Peach], Heze [Peony] Attractions: May 4th Square, Overlook Bay of Fushan, Beers Brew House, Sun Yat Sen Park, Winery, Folk Grand Garden of Yangjiabu Wharf, History of Qi Museum, Zhou’cun Village, Mt Tai, Garden of Peach Blossom, Five Dragon Pools, Black Tiger Spring Dep: May 13 fr

$999

9D Da Lian, Shenyang, Jilin, Harbin

(CNHRB9) Xinghai Bay Square, Shenyang Walking Street, Eight Branches of Manchukuo, Puppet Emperor’s Palace, Changbai Mountain, Heaven Lake, Changbai Waterfall, Century Plaza, Beishan Park, St. Sofia Cathedral Square, Central Avenue Pedestrian Street Dep: Apr 20, May 13, 27 fr

$1,098

LAOS (Vientiane/Luang Prabang/Xieng Khouang) Explore the world heritage site of Luang Prabang, Catch the sunset view over the Mekong River form Mount Phousi, View the enigmatic plain of jars comprising of thousand of stone jars varying in height and sizes Dep: Apr 13, May 9, Jun 1, 6, 8 fr

$1288

VIETNAM

12D8N Alluring Switzerland & Paris (EU12AL)

5D Beautiful Cambodia (KH5BC)

2Nights Stay in Oberland Region(Interlaken/Berne), 2Nights Stay in Paris 1Night Stay in Lakeside Montreux Dep: Mar 22, 24, 29, Apr 5, 12, 19, 26, May 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 Jun 2, 7, 9, 14, 16, 28 fr

Genocide Museum, Tonle Sap Lake, Royal Palace & Silver Pagoda, Angkor Wat, Elephant Terrace, Old Market, Angkor Silk Farm, 1N at Nagaworld Casino Hotel Dep: Mar 15, Jun 6, 13, 19 fr

$2,888

$368

6D5N Northern Heritage (LA6NH)

3D2N Macau Free & Easy Top up $1 to Enjoy Zhuhai & Zhongshan Tour & Seafood Lunch 2N Stay At Choice of Hotel Daily Departure (land only) fr

fr

$888

5D Hanoi, Halong On Junk Overnight (VN5HAN) 1N Stay onboard Junk Cruise, Water Puppet Performance, Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, Sung Sot Cave Dep: Mar 18, Jun 6, 13 fr

$1,088


50 rTHE TRAVEL TIMES r'&#36"3:."3$)

Panorama Tours Bringing Smiles To Millions Panorama Tours offers a huge selection of tours that cater to every requirement.

art of the long-standing Panorama Group, Panorama Tours focuses on delivering effective and enjoyable outbound tour packages for its customers. Since its inception, it has grown to become Indonesiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading tour provider. It has also been ofďŹ cially recognised with plenty of awards and accolades, including Adikarya Wisata 2010, four IMAC awards from 20082011, two Indonesia Tourism awards, four MURI awards, and many more from governments, tourism boards, and independent organisations. Part of Panorama Toursâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; strength is its ability to provide one-stop solutions to both business and leisure travellers. The company has hundreds of consultants in more than 75 points of sales all over Indonesia as well as other parts of the world like Singapore, Malaysia, and Beijing, ensuring that help is always close at hand.

P

WIDE VARIETY Panorama Toursâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; group packages take all the hassle out of travelling. Panorama Tours takes care of all the arrangements, allowing their customers to rest easy and enjoy their holidays without worrying about logistics. From arranging ďŹ&#x201A;ights, booking hotels and planning the itinerary to deciding what meals to have, the company makes sure the tour goes smoothly. Panorama Tours organise trips to a wide range of destinations including Korea, Japan, Bhutan, Australia and Turkey. This Natas Fair, the company is working in conjunction with Korea Tourism Organization to provide the best possible itinerary. Embark on a dream trip to Korea with Panorama Tours and have fun on board a luxury yacht in Jeju Island, spend the day in Everland and discover the latest attractions in Seoul.

For those who prefer to plan their own time, the company also provides free and easy tour packages to lighten the load. Available are packages to destinations such as Bangkok, Taiwan, Vietnam, Australia, Hong Kong, Macau, USA, Bintan, Batam, Club Med and more, covering all budgets and all travel tastes.

INDONESIA SPECIALIST With an established record in Indonesia, it is no wonder that Panoramaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Indonesia products are the leading ones in the market. These products include packages to Bali, Bandung, Medan, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, and Jakarta. Besides being able to offer the newest attractions in the market, Panoramaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s connections allow it to provide low prices and high quality packages for its customers. For more information, visit Panorama Tours at booth 3H23


51 • THE TRAVEL TIMES • 28 FEBRUARY - 02 MARCH 2014

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Useful Features s Discover fascinating travel destinations and incredible places of interest s Restaurants, hotels and shopping locations are categorized for ease of use sUse our calendar to find out about upcoming festivals in your destination country s Check out the latest travel, dining and lodging promotions

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HIGH 5: RAIL JOURNEYS THE GHAN, AUSTRALIA RALIA

2 nights’ stay at Studio M Hotel Singapore worth US$860

THE LUXURY ONE The Australian outback tback is a place that’s hard defined area to grasp: a vast, ill-defined inal people mapped by Aboriginal n song. not on paper but in It was a mystery to European settlers until they started crossing it on camel, el, and its loose demarcations – the Red Centre, the ll sound Never Never, the Top End – still t’s now mysterious and remote. That it’s g of a marvel; crossable by train is something that the train navigates this extreme, treme, other-worldly land in a degree of luxury is the icing on the cake. The train is the Ghan, a long-established g-established service that runs up (and down) n) the centre of Australia from one coast to another on a three-day trip of almost 2,000 miles. Though named after 19th-century tury outback camel drivers who hailed from m Afghanistan, it’s a far cry from their tough desert treks. Dinners in the smart art onboard restaurant have an unmistakably bly outback flavour, with kangaroo fillet on n the menu, while Platinum Service passengers ngers can order 24-hour room service and d breakfast in bed. They could, in theory, never leave their cabins, which are decked d out with en suites and oversized windows framing the passing landscapes. The scenery is worthy of large ge windows indeed. On the northbound route ute from Adelaide, plains and russet mountains ountains cede to the arid Red Centre, thee outback’s heartland of cobalt skies, rust-red red earth and haphazard fistfuls of scrub. b. For its first 75 years, the Ghan ended in thee desert city

5 RAIL JOURNEYS

ASIA JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014

There are memorable ways to travel, none more so than by train. From rail odysseys to day trips in Britain, here are five ways to get on board

GLORY IN ROME Relive past grandeur in present monuments

HIGH 5: RAIL JOURNEYS The Ghan crosses the high bridge over the Katherine erine alia’s River in Australia’s Northern Territory, nearr the oute Darwin end of its route

of Alice Springs. It now continues on to Darwin on the north coast. The journey’s periodic stops are a chance to get off the train and into these landscapes, from guided walks to helicopter rides. There’s even the chance to go right back to basics on the original Afghan Express (as the Ghan was once called) – a camel trek through the desert.

GETTING STARTED The two-night journey from Adelaide to Darwin (or vice versa) in Gold Service (twin sleeper cabin, with all meals, drinks and off-train tours included) costs from US$1,924 per person, and from US$3,424 in Platinum Service (greatsouthernrail. com.au). Direct flights Adelaide are available on Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia (flights to Adelaide from US$516; singaporeair.com). Lonely Planet’s Central Australia: Adelaide to Darwin (US$26)

Your trip trrip mapped out China’s landscapes and ancien ancient history have been inspiring travellers since the days of oriental adventure by taxi, plane and bullet train, from Marco Polo. Follow our or capital Beijing to the riverside splendour of Yangshuo the historic streets of the c JIANKOU Best for the Great Wall

China’s original superhighway is the country’s greatest and most recognised attraction, here snaking beyond the massed tourist hordes.

BEIJING Best for history

SHANGHAI Best for architecture Glimpse the capital as it once was, from the imperial splendour of the Forbidden City to the ancient hutongs – a beguiling web of alleyways.

10

Contemplating

PHILIPPINES

PERFECT PARIS

WHERE TO STAY The Downtown Miami River Inn, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, has 40 charming New England-style rooms, friendly service and one of the best libraries 116

Miami River Inn’s porches back on to a lush tropical garden

of Miami literature in the city (miamiriverinn.com; 118 SW South River Drive; from US$122). Cardozo Hotel, owned by singer Gloria Estefan, was one of the first Art Deco hotels saved by the Miami Design Preservation League. It has hardwood floors, handmade furniture and a general sense that, you are cool if you stay here (cardozohotel.com; 1300 Ocean Drive; from US$187). Sense Beach House is reminiscent of sand dunes and the sea. Choose between serene ‘Sand’ rooms and calming ‘Blue’ rooms. There’s a rooftop pool and terrace (sensebeachhouse.com; 400 Ocean Drive; from US$318).

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014

a recent building boom,

Plastic chairs don’t equate with low-quality eating in Bangkok

MINI GUIDE Jan/Feb 2014

Eating in Bangkok

he o tthe al tto ya oya loyal Tallinn remains loy eguiling beguiling ost b os most m mo

Despite e’s Europe’s TOP TIP its Old Town, one of piirees and ng sspires min fairytale charms of oom looming To im immerse yourself in cities, complete with cobbled streets, walled battlements. everything Art Deco, head to the ever brooding Whatever the time of day, you can feast at a street stall, open-air market or top restaurant in Bangkok. The local cuisine gets its Mag Magic City in mid-January for Art influences from Thailand’s geography, the royal kitchens and the Deco Weekend, featuring guided Chinese and Muslim minorities. tours, concerts, classic car tour show shows, sidewalk cafés, and art and antique stalls (artd (artdecoweekend.com).

FUR FURTHER RTHER R REA READING ADIN ING Lonely Planet’s Miami Lonel ely Plan net’s M iami mi & Keys the K eys (US$24.50) (US S$24.50 50) iss a comprehensive comp prehensi sive guide gu uide to city the cit ty and cchapters hapter ers off the e can downloaded book c an be downloa do oaded d at lonelyplanet.com (US$4.90). lonelypl planet.com om (US$4 S$4.90). 0). Beached d Miami covers co s cculture ure events in the and arts eve th city (beachedmiami.com). (beachedmi miami.com). ). TThe Scarface, 1983 film Scarf arface, starring ring Al Pacino, captures es the highs and lows of Miami’s mi’s hyperextravagant ’80s – citizens have taken the film’s iconic catchphrase ‘The world is yours’ to heart.

6

Available at all major bookstores, petrol stations and newsstands, or subscribe online at www.e-shopping.sg

CLASSIC CLA ASSIIC P PARIS ARIS S

Classic C la Paris Par

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Get G ett to o the th he hea heart eart of the th he allure of o Paris with a tour of five of its star ssights, igh ghtss, from fro om the the heights heigh hts of the Eiffel Tower to the depths of the c attac com mbs, aand nd a day da ay trip to the splendour of Versailles catacombs,

MCI (P) 004/04/2013, PPS 1747/12/2012(022909)

MINI GUIDES TO KEEP

WORDS W ORD DS RO RORY ORY G GOULDING OULLDING | PHOTO PHOTOGRAPHS TOGRAPH HS PETE SEAWARD

O Tuscany O Tallinn O New York O Bangkok O Miami O St Petersburg 66

COMPILED BY NATALIE MILLMAN, WITH CONTRIBUTIONS FROM ADAM KARLIN. KAR PHOTOGRAPHS: KRIS DAVIDSON, EMILIO COLLAVINO, SHUTTERSTOCK

ART DECO CLASSICS Essex House hotel Porthole windows lend the feel eel me of a cruise ship, while its name spire is like a rocket, recalling g Art Deco’s roots as an aesthetic complement to modernism and nd industrialism (1001 Collins Ave). e). Deco lifeguard stations on South Beach These are Cubist-inspired ired ir ed exemplars of the Deco o movement, with sharp, p p, geometric lines and dazzling colours (found from 1st to 17th St). The Carlyle hotel Comes with futuristic styling, ort triple parapets, The Jetsons sort of vibe and cinematic cachet:: e The Birdcage was filmed here (1250 Ocean Drive). Jerry’s Famous Deli Housed in the former Hoffman’s n’s ous Cafeteria building, this spacious 1939 gem has a front that resembles the prow of a Buckk Rogers ship (1450 Collins Ave). ).

Medieval Tallinn

SGD 7.50 RM 15 NT 270 RP 75.000 THB 195 9 7 7 2 0 1 0 0 8 2 0 1 7

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Tokyo Japan Tokyo, Japan WHY GO NOW?

Spur on the finest competitors of Japan’s national sport as they spar against one another during the Grand Sumo Tournament at Ryogoku Sumo Hall from 12 to 26 January. Only men practise sumo professionally in Japan, and a wrestler suffers defeat when he is the first to tumble out of the ring of clay and sand or to have any part of his body, aside from the soles of his feet, hit the ground. Tickets are available in three categories – ringside seats, box seats, and balcony seats – and can be purchased at the stadium. Top division matches only take place in the evenings, and that is when the

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6 EASY TRIPS A town-wide festival in Kalibo, gigantic puppets on the streets of Siem Reap, and ice fishing in Hwacheon

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If all the iron in the Eiffel Tower, seen here from the Palais de Chaillot, were melted down into the shape of its base, it would fill the square to only 6cm deep

10 EASY TRIPS

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CLASSIC PARIS

10 EASY TRIPS

PHOTOGRAPH: ADORA WONG; 123RF

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2014 MINI GUIDE Jan/Feb

The know-how w

Cormorant fishermen continue their age-old tradition beneath the karst pillars that rise above the banks of the Yulong and Li rivers.

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Where to stay

O c L k m i a s

Miami essentials

From epics and monuments to nature and city buzz

Uncover the allure of the city’s star attractions

A view at dusk and nn, the capital a over Tallinn, gest city of Estonia largest

TRANSPORT Flights on Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines are available to Heathrow, while American Airlines, BA and Virgin Atlantic fly direct to Miami from Heathrow (from US$1,062; ba.com). Most will need an ESTA before travelling to the States (esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta). The airport is six miles west of Downtown Miami: a taxi to the Downtown hotels will cost around US$22.80, while a Super Shuttle van will cost around US$16.20 (supershuttle.com). The driverless Metromover is helpful for getting around the Downtown area and is free (miamidade.gov/transit), while fares for the Metrorail are calculated on a zone basis (from US$2.10). The urban sprawl of Miami means most visitors drive (car hire from US$32.50 per day; avis.com).

Rice is grown in China on a massive scale, and yet the ancient farmlands retain a majestic beauty at one with their environment.

China

Lush resorts for nature lovers

Eating

MAP ILLUSTRATION: ALEXANDRE VERHILLE

YANGSHUO Best for river scenery

HOT SPOTS IN

MINI GUIDE Architecture in Miami

A towering vision of an urban future, Shanghai’s mighty skyscrapers grow ever taller and bolder in a myriad of revolutionary designs.

LONGSHENG Best for rice terraces

GET YOUR COPY NOW!

Weight gain is crucial in sumo as there are no weight restrictions for matches

arena gets truly packed and atmospheric. The contestant who is in possession of the most number of wins in his division after the gruelling 15-day combat is crowned as the category’s tournament champion.

Kuthodaw Kuthoda daw Pagoda da sits off at the base se o southeast the e southea so heast st stairway stair tairway y to o Mandalay Hill Ma andalay ay H ill

HOW DO I MAKE IT HAPPEN?

 Singapore Airlines operates direct flights from Singapore and from Kuala Lumpur to Tokyo’s Narita International Airport.  Hotel Niwa Tokyo offers guests first-class comfort in a safe and serene environment. It houses restaurants serving up both French and Japanese cuisines and is a 15-minute train ride away from Shinjuku Station (from US$151, hotelniwa.jp/english/index.html).

Mandalay, Myanmar WHY GO NOW?

Join the throngs of international and local visitors at the landmark Irrawady Literary Festival from 14 to 16 February. The groundbreaking event, which was first held in 2013, places the rich tradition of Burmese literature in the spotlight and paves the way for sweeping international exchange. Befittingly, the festival is to be held on the sprawling grounds of the Kuthodaw Pagoda, home to the world’s largest book – a 729-leaved tome carved in marble. While Mandalay has recently become a thriving commercial city centre, an easy venture outwards reminds us that it is also the cultural heart of Upper Burma. Explore the Mandalay

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Palace with its regal Glass Palace, or the Golden Palace Monastery (Shwenandaw Kyaung), the last vestige of the original Royal Palace at Amarapura, a religious gem and architectural marvel housing an exquisite collection of ancient teak carvings and gilded figures.

of some national symbol or lofty ideal, and instead commemorates the genius of HE WORLD IS FILLED WITH Gustave Eiffel. buildings and monuments To appreciate the impact of the Eiffel named after monarchs, generals Tower on a Parisian of 1889, consider the and businessmen, but it’s rare to timeline of the record-breaking structures find great landmarks that credit that came before. The Great Pyramid at Giza set an early standard, at over 140

EIFFEL TOWER At night, t,, a light show e from 20,000 made bs illuminates bulbs he e Eiffel Tower the

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014

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67 the architects or engineers who actually

built them. The giant tower that greeted visitors to the Paris Universal Exposition of 1889 was planned to be merely a temporary construction. Perhaps that’s why it was excused from bearing the name 68

metres tall. Much later, a few medieval cathedrals managed to edge past it. By 1888, the tallest thing made by man was the 169-metre Washington Monument – a giant stone obelisk. Impressive, but still

something that a time-travelling ancient Egyptian would have instinctively understood. So for 4,400 years the ceiling of architectural achievement had been raised only modestly when Gustave Eiffel opened an entirely new chapter, with a tower more than 300 metres high, and made not out of stone like all its predecessors, but wrought iron. ‘Gustave Eiffel knew how to master the most advanced technology of the time,’ says Stéphane Dieu, who looks after the tower’s heritage. ‘For a start, the foundations of the tower’s four pillars had to be built in damp soil close to the river. Above all, it was his faith and love of science that guided him – you can see that from the frieze around the first floor, which gives the names of 72 French scientists.’ The commercial success of a 300-metre observation tower was only possible of course thanks to the invention of the elevator. Four sets of diagonal lifts climb the tower’s splayed feet to the mid-levels, through a lattice of girders that join in crosses and starbursts. The second journey is a vertical one, up the centre of the structure. As the cabin glides ever higher, the four edges of the tower close in around it. Just before it seems like the iron is about to run out, the lift stops, and opens its doors. Solving technical challenges was only part of Eiffel’s work. When construction had hardly begun, some 50 of the leading French artists and writers of the day signed a joint letter to the press, condemning this ‘black and gigantic factory chimney’, which would crush the great monuments of Paris under its ‘barbaric mass’. Eiffel wrote a lengthy rebuttal: ‘Why should something that is admirable in Egypt become hideous and ridiculous in Paris?’ he asked. Two years later, the tower received nearly two million visitors during the exhibition. And yet Eiffel’s supreme achievement was meant to be dismantled by 1909. It was only saved on his insistence that it could serve as a testing ground for scientific experiments and later as a radio transmitter. Bridges and buildings by Eiffel survive from Hungary to Bolivia. He even designed the internal framework for the Statue of Liberty. But if it hadn’t been for Eiffel’s determination, the tower that bears his name might be remembered today only from a few yellowing postcards. TOP TIP O If you know your travel dates two or three months

in advance, it’s worth booking a timed ticket to skip long ticket office queues (US$11.40 to 2nd floor only, US$19.60 to top; toureiffel.fr). You’ll need to print it out or show it on a smartphone screen.

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014

HOW DO I MAKE IT HAPPEN?

 From Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, it is best to connect through Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) where you can catch a direct flight to Mandalay via Thai International Airways (thaiairways.com).  Right at the heart of the action, the Mandalay Hill Resort Hotel is a tranquil ode to “The Golden Land”, so inspired by the vast array of golden pagodas that embellish the surrounding area (from US$240; mandalayhillresorthotel.com).

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The Travel Times - 2014 Feb - NATAS Fair  

Published in conjunction with the largest consumer travel fairs in Singapore, the Free travel newspaper aimed at providing editorially stron...

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